Virginia is for Lovers, ‘Aryan’ lovers?

This 2016 video says about itself:

Loving – Official Trailer 1 (Universal Pictures) HD

“Loving” celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving, who married and then spent the next nine years fighting for the right to live as a family in their hometown. Their civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 reaffirmed the very foundation of the right to marry – making their love story an inspiration to couples everywhere.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

In this state, in the 1960s, Mildred Jeter, a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, were sentenced to one year in prison for getting married. With this, they had violated the law against marriage between whites and non-whites. Jeter and Loving challenged the ban up to the US Supreme Court.

“Virginia is for Lovers” is the tourism and travel slogan of the United States commonwealth of Virginia.

Now, 52 years after the prison sentence for Richard and Mildred Loving for marrying was annulled, Virginia is not yet for all lovers.

From the BBC, 9 September 2019:

Virginia couples challenge laws requiring them to declare their race

By Dhruti Shah, BBC News, Washington

In the US state of Virginia, couples must declare their racial background from a long list of options including “Aryan“, “Moor” and “Zoroastrian” before getting married.

Other options include: ‘Arabic’, ‘mulatto’, ‘Jew’. See also here.

A lawsuit is aiming to put a stop to this.

The suit, filed by lawyer Victor M Glasberg on behalf of three couples, describes the statute as “unconstitutional” and “reflective of a racist past“.

Mr Glasberg has also written to Democratic Governor Ralph Northam, urging him to “do what must be done to get on the right side of history”.

One of the couples involved – Brandyn Churchill, 27, and Sophie Rogers, 23, of Lexington, Virginia – is hoping to have won the case by the time they get married next month.

Brandyn Churchill and his fiancee Sophie Rogers

But they have meanwhile asked for an injunction so that they will not be a denied a marriage license by the clerk for refusing to have their race recorded.

The complaint has been brought against the Virginia State Registrar, the Arlington Circuit Court clerk and the Rockbridge Circuit Court clerk. …

The other two couples involved are Ashley Ramkishun and her fiancé Samuel Sarfo and Amelia Spencer and her fiancé Kendall Poole.

In the documentation all state they wish to get married in Virginia but not if they “must label [themselves] with a race in order to get a marriage license”.

Ms Rogers told the BBC: “We got engaged in July 2018. In Virginia, you have 60 days to apply for the license before the registry. We applied for our license in Rockbridge County and went to the clerk’s office on 3 September. The clerk tried to fill out the application without the race question filled for us but the computer wouldn’t let her.”

Mr Churchill added: “Many of the categories were outdated, offensive racist terms which have no place in the 21st century. We said we were uncomfortable and left.”

Virginia is one of eight states in the US with this legal requirement to identify race prior to marriage.

The other seven states: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota and New Hampshire.

Mr Glasberg notes that in Virginia, “this requirement reflects a regulatory scheme embodied in the Virginia Racial Integrity Act of 1924, originally called ‘An Act to Preserve the Integrity of the White Race’.”

He says that the requirement for race on marriage records was grounded in bigotry.

Mr Glasberg, 74, told the BBC that he had been mulling a challenge for many years. When he got married in 1981, he asked if he could put “human” down in the category but was told no.

Ms Ramkishun, 26, said she had decided to join the lawsuit after attempting to register for her marriage at Arlington Circuit Court and discovering that there was no option not to put race.

“We didn’t feel comfortable. We were told we could put ‘other’ down as an option but that’s not what we are. It was either ‘pick other, pick a race or you can’t go ahead’.”

Mr Churchill was positive about his chances of success. “A requirement like this might have been Virginia’s past but it’s not its future”, he said.

“We are not telling people they can’t identify with a certain race. We are saying it’s not the State’s place to compel individuals into certain categories.”

Though Mississippi is not one of the eight states asking racist questions, sometimes it is also not for all lovers.

From the BBC, 3 September 2019:

A US interracial couple was turned away by a wedding venue because the owner said their union went against her Christian beliefs, video shows.

The footage was filmed at Boone’s Camp Event Hall in Booneville, Mississippi, by the groom’s sister who met the woman about the rejection.

During the exchange, the owner says the decision was because we “don’t do gay weddings or mixed race”. …

When asked what passage of the Bible informs that belief, the owner adds: “I don’t want to argue my faith.”

4 thoughts on “Virginia is for Lovers, ‘Aryan’ lovers?

  1. What a sad state of affairs 😦 Loving vs Virginia is a very important case in the history of mixed race couples, however there is still such a long, looong way to go to stop bigotry in the US 😦


  2. Pingback: American salamanders and climate change | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.