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The Lovings' legal team argued that the state law ran counter to the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because it forbade interracial couples to marry solely on the basis of their race.
For Richard Loving, the argument was a simple one: "Tell the court I love my wife, and it is just unfair that I can't live with her in Virginia." On June 12, 1967, the high court agreed unanimously in favor of the Lovings, striking down Virginia's law and thus allowing the couple to return home while also ending the ban on interracial marriages in other states.
However Virginia's Racial Integrity Act of 1924 (known as an anti-miscegenation law) barred the Lovings from marrying in their home state, so the couple drove north to Washington, D. to tie the knot and then returned to their home in Caroline County, Virginia.
Virginia law in fact forbade black and white citizens from marrying outside of the state and then returning to live within the state.
Richard ended up spending a night in jail, with the pregnant Mildred spending several more nights there.
When that Virginia court upheld the original ruling, the case eventually went to the United States Supreme Court, with oral arguments held on April 10, 1967.
The commonwealth of Virginia asserted that its ban on interracial marriages were in place to avoid a host of resulting sociological ills, and that the law was not in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Mildred Loving was of African American, European and Native American descent, specifically from the Cherokee and Rappahannock tribes.