Black History Month on Valentine’s Day 2018, I’m showing
my love for Mildred Loving (1942-2008). She’s often
overlooked in the pantheon of African American trailblazers
celebrated in February. However, in ruminating on this political era
where African American civil rights are under constant assault, and
the erosion of LGBTQ rights are contested under the guise of
religious liberty, I give Mildred Loving a double shout out for the
catalyst she was in both interracial and same-sex marriages in this
country. It’s her shoulders I, and so many others, stand on
when it comes to marriage equality.
in this Trumped-up Supreme Court era there is aggressive talk among
Christian evangelicals of walking “Obergefell v. Hodges”
back without disrupting another precedent on marriage, Rebecca
Buckwalter-Poza wrote in the article “The End of Gay Rights”
in the June issue of Pacific Standard Magazine.
Supreme Court can significantly undermine LGBT rights even without
reversing a single case. Right now, the federal prohibition against
sex discrimination doesn’t bar discrimination on the basis of
sexual orientation or gender identity; the Equal Protection Clause
affords no specific protections for LGBT people, as it does for
members of groups defined by race or nationality. Buckwalter-Poza
wrote. “The Court can strip the rights to intimacy and
marriage of their meaning, carving away gradually and masking the
magnitude of changes by phrasing them in arcane legal terms.”
in the last week, has just recently stripped the rights for same-sex
intimacy and marriage with domestic partnership. It is the first
national territory to repeal it. And, it has been done in less than a
year. LGBTQ Bermudans on the island and around the world celebrated
the legalization of marriage equality in May 2017.
we are not denizens on this British island, it will, however,
embolden our opponents, especially religious conservatives here and
abroad to push for the same. “Conservatives have been intent on
pushing the domestic partnership law in order to keep the term
“marriage” nearly exclusive to heterosexual couples,”
Metro Weekly reported.
activists will keep their eyes on Bermuda as well as here. In this
country “Loving v. Virginia" decision affirmed the freedom
to marry as a “basic civil right” of every American.
June 12, 1967, Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote for the court stating
is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to
our very existence and survival. … Under our Constitution, the
freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with
the individual and cannot be infringed by the state."
understood the interconnection of struggles, and while not an
activist who belonged to an organization she passionately realized
through her own experience of not being joined in matrimony to the
love of your life. Lending her support to our same sex marriage
fight, Mrs. Mildred Loving wrote the following:
my late husband, Richard, and I got married in Washington, DC in
1958, it wasn’t to make a political statement or start a fight.
We were in love, and we wanted to be married. Not a day goes by
that I don't think of Richard and our love, and how much it meant to
me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if
others thought he was the "wrong kind of person" for me to
marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter
their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same
freedom to marry," Loving wrote.
am proud that Richard's and my name are on a court case that can help
reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that
so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight, seek
in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That's what
Loving, and loving, are all about.”
the beheading of St. Valentine in Rome in the year 270 A.D., marriage
has been controlled by church heads and heads of states and not by
the hearts of lovers. When Emperor Claudius II issued an edict
abolishing marriage because married men hated to leave their families
for battle, Valentine, known then as the “friend to lovers,”
secretly joined them in holy matrimony. While awaiting his execution,
Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and in his
farewell message to his lover, he penned “From your
the “Loving -spirit” of Mildred and the justice acts of
St. Valentine be with us on this day.