Monday, May 05, 2008

Love Across the Color-Line

Photograph of Mr. and Mrs. Loving, 1965


Just read this piece about a pair of American heroes that I had never heard of before. I want to make sure that people know who they are and the debt that is owed them by so many of us. Check it out:

RICHMOND, Va. - Mildred Loving, a black woman whose challenge to Virginia's ban on interracial marriage led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling striking down such laws nationwide, has died, her daughter said Monday.

Peggy Fortune said Loving, 68, died Friday at her home in rural Milford. She did not disclose the cause of death.

"I want (people) to remember her as being strong and brave yet humble — and believed in love," Fortune told The Associated Press.

Loving and her white husband, Richard, changed history in 1967 when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld their right to marry. The ruling struck down laws banning racially mixed marriages in at least 17 states.

"There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the equal protection clause," the court ruled in a unanimous decision. (Read the whole article). You can also learn more about the four decades of legalized "inter-racial" marriage here.

Many of you may know that I am also in a so called "inter-racial" marriage and the son my wife and I are expecting in October will be a fruit of that union. I hope you will join me in remembering Mr. and Mrs. Loving and their family in your prayers and honor in your own way the pioneering spirit of couples like them who have made a special contribution to the advancement of racial equality, unity and justice in America.

"Know thou of a certainty that Love is the secret of God's holy Dispensation, the manifestation of the All-Merciful, the fountain of spiritual outpourings. Love is heaven's kindly light, the Holy Spirit's eternal breath that vivifieth the human soul. Love is the cause of God's revelation unto man, the vital bond inherent, in accordance with the divine creation, in the realities of things. Love is the one means that ensureth true felicity both in this world and the next. Love is the light that guideth in darkness, the living link that uniteth God with man, that assureth the progress of every illumined soul. Love is the most great law that ruleth this mighty and heavenly cycle, the unique power that bindeth together the divers elements of this material world, the supreme magnetic force that directeth the movements of the spheres in the celestial realms. Love revealeth with unfailing and limitless power the mysteries latent in the universe. Love is the spirit of life unto the adorned body of mankind, the establisher of true civilization in this mortal world, and the shedder of imperishable glory upon every high-aiming race and nation."
(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 27)