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In order to evade Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act, the pair had traveled to Washington, D. In 1963, they approached the American Civil Liberties Union to fight their case in court.
After an extensive legal battle, the Supreme Court ruled that laws prohibiting interracial marriage were unconstitutional.
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The couple were hauled from their house and thrown into jail, where Mildred remained for several days, all for the crime of getting married.
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At that time, 24 states across the country had laws strictly prohibiting marriage between people of different races.
Five weeks earlier, the longtime couple had learned Mildred was pregnant and decided to wed in defiance of the law. Upon their return to Virginia, they were arrested and found guilty, with the judge informing Mildred that “as long as you live you will be known as a felon.” The Lovings moved to the relative safety of Washington, but longed to return to their home state.