Loving Day 2016
WHEREAS, in 1958, Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter, a white man and an African-American woman who were natives of Caroline County, were married in the District of Columbia; and
WHEREAS, at the time, interracial marriage was forbidden in Virginia, and the Lovings were subsequently arrested for being married to one another; and
WHEREAS, rather than spend a year in prison, the Lovings moved to the District of Columbia and later filed a federal lawsuit so they could return home to the Commonwealth without fear of arrest because of who they loved; and
WHEREAS, on June 12, 1967, the United States Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling in Loving v. Virginia, legalizing interracial marriage across the nation and emphasizing that marriage is a fundamental freedom and one of our most basic civil rights; and
WHEREAS, following the Court ruling, interracial marriage became legal in Virginia and 15 other states, and the Lovings returned to their home of Virginia to raise their children; and
WHEREAS, today we recognize the enduring bravery and impact of the Lovings, and we continue to build a Commonwealth that is open and welcoming to all by ensuring that all Virginians have equal opportunity to thrive, no matter whom they love;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize June 12, 2016, as LOVING DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.