Don | Loving Day


Sun, 03/25/2007 - 7:13pm -- lovingday
State (if you are in the U.S.A): 
United States

My Japanese wife and I (Caucasian) have been married 46 years, and have four grown children. We met and married in Japan, where I was stationed as a Navy JAG officer. At that time the US military strongly opposed such marriages, and had a lengthy bureaucratic process designed to discourage the couple from reaching the altar. Counseling by both a chaplain and a legal officer was mandatory, and the principal objective of legal counseling was to inform the couple of the existence of miscegenation laws in the state or states of their likely future residence.

Although our marriage preceded the Loving decision by a decade, I think that most attorneys at that time recognized the likelihood that these laws would be found unconstitutional: That was the advice I received from a fellow JAG officer prior to my marriage, and it was the same advice that I rendered a year later to an African-American sailor in Texas (where I was then stationed) who was engaged to a Japanese woman. The Texas miscegenation law at that time classified Orientals as "white", and thus his marriage would have violated Texas law, whereas mine did not.

Another year later I had left the Navy and we had moved to Virginia, which outlawed marriage between whites and Orientals, but permitted marriage between blacks and Orientals. Unlike the Lovings, we were never threatened with an enforcement of Virginia's miscegenation law, but were as pleased as they must have been when the Supreme Court struck down these laws in 1967.

Since I left the Navy in 1959, my wife and I have not to our knowledge suffered any racial discrimination, nor have our children.