Loving v. Virginia (June 12, 1967)

Today is the 42nd anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court case overturning Virginia’s ban on inter-racial marriages. The Obama people, working for the product of an inter-racial marriage, sure have an eye for irony.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • obamacrat

    That’s exactly right. There are substantial and real gains being made out there. If I were you guys I would focus more on progress in individual states and especially on DADT. It is much harder to argue that a person does not have the same rights as anyone else once they have put their lives on the line for their country. The “unit cohesion” argument has never held water. There are gay service people who are exemplary soldiers, whose service is needed and they are still kicked out. It ain’t about ‘unit cohesion’. They don’t want people to tell because then it would be apparent how fully gays have contributed to the country’s welfare and security.

  • therepguy

    June 12th would have been a great day to have empowered the gay community with the right of marriage!

    Any day is a good day to revoke the universal marriage license in favor of a universal civil union license for one and all!

    Thus removing government from the business of marriage all together while preserving the revenue flow from the license!

    Issue solved!

    Mom & Dad gets a reissued license and little Johnny and friend gets to get a license… not a bad compromise!

  • jm2

    this looks more and more like the right hand not knowing what its a**h**** are doing.

    and that’s Obama’s fault; no one else’s.

    i would hope this was not done on purpose by the administration, but at this point no one can tell. this is just like the torture business, the photo reversals, and the other snafus since he became president.

    i think he needs to get some experienced people in to help real quick. isn’t Rahm supposed to know everything going on as chief of staff and keep Obama informed? and Axelrod? and Gibbs? and Plouffe? all possibly in over their heads?

  • JamesR

    Actually I just discovered I made a mistake – I was trying to Google”W Scott Simpson Senior Trial Counsel” – somehow I transposed Thomson for Simpson. Though Thomson got hits too as a lawyer… Hasty intro research. Dunno where “Thomson” came from.

    This comment on the Politico lie thread posits he’s a Bush-Mole Mormon, by someone actually named “W. Scott Simpson is a Bushie:” http://www.americablog.com/2009/06/obama-doj-lies-to-politico-in-defending.html#comment-10814148

    …We’ll see.

  • scarpy

    one day’s difference is close enough for government work.

  • Stephen

    W. Scott Thompson is a Bush lawyer from Alabama and as the signatory he probably wrote it.

    And it was filed yesterday.

  • Butch1

    They obviously, think they can continue to get away with this and that we will be as spineless as the democrats in the Congress and continue to accept this behavior and thank him for the attention. I think this time, they have over-played their hand.

  • Stephen

    The brief wasn’t filed today…

  • FunMe

    Midlred was for marriage equality for ALL:

    http://www.sfbaytimes.com/index.php?sec=article&article_id=8071

    On June 12, 2007, the 40th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, Mrs. Loving gave a statement:

    “When 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. We didn’t get married in Washington because we wanted to marry there. We did it there because the government wouldn’t allow us to marry back home in Virginia where we grew up, where we met, where we fell in love, and where we wanted to be together and build our family.” Loving said, “My generation was bitterly divided over something that should have been so clear and right. The majority believed what the judge said, that it was God’s plan to keep people apart, and that government should discriminate against people in love.” She added, “But I have lived long enough now to see big changes. The older generation’s fears and prejudices have given way, and today’s young people realize that if someone loves someone they have a right to marry.”

    “Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights,” Loving stated. “I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is 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.” She added with a pun, “That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about!”

  • obamacrat

    Ok, gray. You are not going to win this at the federal constitutional law level. And you know that. The courts have yet to accept that gays are a suspect class and it is not likely to happen soon and certainly not with the current Court makeup. This case is a done deal, the plaintiffs lose and the law stands. But that is it. There is no call for a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage and there is not going to be one partly because of DOMA. But in the last year five states have recognized gay marriage as a valid legal institution. That is five more than last year. Some of them in places you would never have expected, (Iowa comes to mind). That’s in the bible belt for God sake. Do you really think that the barriers that are falling have nothing at all to do with the barrier that fell when Obama was elected. I think there is a connection. Just as I know that the amendment which finally gave women the vote would not have occurred without the earlier passage of the the 13th and 14th amendments. Once one barrier is broken, other barriers tend to fall as well over time. But if that first barrier is still standing the others stand as well. My point is you are overreacting, especially since you weren’t going to win this one anyway. I didn’t read the brief, but what I read on your blog did not exactly shock the conscience. And I have a transgender nephew who I think is one of the best people in the world and I bristle whenever someone refers to a transgender as a ‘tranie’ and when Pat Robertson lumps him in with pedophiles I could put his lights out, happily. But I don not put that on a par with what was said in the brief. I just don’t see it. There may come a time when your arguments succeed. The Lawrence case re-visited the Courts decision in Bowers ( I think that’s the one) and made the exact opposite decision. And the reason for the change was not any previous decisions or arguments. The reason was societal change which came about irrespective of law. Gays had come out of the closet and shown their value in society. Gay marriage has come out of the closet in five states. As its value is demonstrated society will embrace it. Obama is not your enemy and he will not become one. You know, Hilary Clinton was pretty damn insulting to him during the campaign and she’s his Sec. of State now. He had to swallow that crap because he thought she was the best one for the job. He had to swallow a lot of crap and still does. And he risked his welfare and that of his family in order to keep the people who were behind DOMA in the first place from office where they could continue to do damage to gay rights. This is an inconsequential case that is not going to mean anything in the long run. Barack Obama’s election will probably mean quite a lot in the long run to the ultimate success of your cause. My point is I think you make too much of a perceived insult. Gotta go.

  • ChrisSF

    The fact that there are other things going on in the world somehow excuses this gratuitous hit job by Obama, who courted us and our money during the election? Sorry, I don’t get the logic.

  • FunMe

    Excellent Idea! Let’s have this is as a campaign.

    I have his card he sent from Chicago “Obama for America” with the pres & vp and their wives. I will send that to them and all the buttons, too!

  • FunMe

    We should be protesting against Obama AND Emmanuel!

  • FunMe

    Someone needs to send this video to Obama. Instead of that couple, maybe his mom and dad should be in it?

    Tribute to Mildred Loving (rip)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzUEqjvORJc&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Edailykos%2Ecom%2Fstoryonly%2F2009%2F6%2F5%2F738705%2F%2DWGLB%2DPresents%3A%2DMaking%2Da%2DFederal%2DCase%2Dout%2Dof%2DUsPerry%2Dv%2E%2DSchwarzenegger%2D&feature=player_embedded

    SHAME on Obama!

    What would his mother think! What would Martin Luther King Jr. think!

    They are both crying, especially his mother, knowing that her son is denying love to others just like they once did for someone like his mom and dad.

    :-(

  • Õ¿Õ

    Look, we made the best more ‘right’ decision possible last November. Maybe we put too much “hope” into it came from a good place so it’s not on us but Obama and his administration. Shame on them. I began to see this early so I hope I put some brakes on getting too carried away. A little caution never hurts. We gays will be fine. We’ll move like a flock of birds around this latest and soar like we always do.

    Need to begin looking toward 2010 and 12 and what’s happening on the state level.

  • JamesR

    Mild Googling revealed the following on the three DOJ officials listed on the filing:

    Of W. Scott Thomson, “senior trial counsel” – virtually nothing, common name with an initial, I am sure something is there but I gave up.

    Of James J Gilligan, “assistant director” – Received The John Marshall Award in 2004, presented by John Ashcroft, for work in the McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, [against] “a group of plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of various provisions of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act.” So maybe he’d worked technically for McCain-Feingold and against Mich McConnel, and perhaps he’s a career DOJ attorney, yet honored by John Ashcroft… ?

    Of Tony West, “Assistant Attorney General” – He’d been co-chairman of Obama’s fundraising committee, an “early supporter,” and is married to the sister of San Francisco District Attorney and state Attorney General candidate Kamala Harris, a vocal prop 8 opponent. He’s also been named “one of California’s ”Top 20 Lawyers Under 40” in 2004.” – [from SFGATE http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/nov05election/detail?blogid=14&entry_id=34943 ] So he’s under 45 now.

    West owns this thing, even if he didn’t write it nor was aware of it’s implications, which is kinda unlikely. He is loyal to Obama and Obama is loyal in return, hence the appointment. He is black – which is relevant in this case because of what is in the filing and the actual rift between ‘blacks only’ civil rights advocates and the gay issue(s.) Yet he’s also ‘under forty’ which means he has NOT witnessed what a real civil rights struggle looks like. I am Obama’s age and I barely remember.

    West stepped in it. [Obama, West, everyone stepped in it.] Obama gives great speech. The problem is action matching it. WTF!? UNBELIEVABLE that this all comes on the anniversary of Loving V. Virginia. Damn.

    Coretta Scott King indeed would have taken all of them to the woodshed and beaten their asses for this. Who can do this today???

  • Õ¿Õ

    He’s finished. Who can we support in 2010?

  • http://www.iwantu2know.blogspot.com banshiii

    and you know they know political timing.

  • http://www.jpixonline.com dcmsufan

    Thats a damn good idea.

  • nicho

    I have a friend who’s active in the party at the state level. He’s traveling out of the country and I emailed this story to him. His answer:

    It looks like to me like Obama is not in control of his own White House! I don’t trust Emmanuel as far as I can throw him. Obama is not running his administration.

  • nicho

    You’re a slow learner, John. My philosophy is three strikes and you’re out.

  • nicho

    “Absolute purity” == dead giveaway. Rahm Emmanuel talking point. That was probably in the fax that went out this morning.

  • DorothyGale

    I was wise to Obama long before inauguration day or election day. I knew he was one of the worst choices that the Democrats had to offer the LGBT community but my choice didn’t win. I settled for Obama because I wasn’t going to let McCranky win the Presidency. Now we have to organize for 2016 to get a person into the executive branch that doesn’t believe with all of his heart that Gay people are second class citizens as Obama has demonstrated with his actions time and again. In the mean time, we have to promote people who believe in equality to the legislative branch.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    That’s exactly the problem. By about the 9th or 10th time they screw you, it’s a pattern, not a mistake.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I’m not seeing a lot of white in this brief, it’s all black. So what’s exactly your point?

  • Lauren

    Nice racial comments. Keep it classy, that really helps.

  • uwyoalum

    considering packing up all my obama swag (buttons, stickers, t-shirts) and mailing it all to the white house. I can no longer wear or display any of it with pride.

  • DorothyGale

    Like I said at DailyKos and got Troll Rated for:

    We should rejoice that Obama isn’t throwing us into the ovens yet.

    Thanks for the pep talk.

  • FunMe

    We should be happy because we don’t have it as bad in other places?

    We should be happy because a President and his Administration has just said things in a legal brief that insults the GLBT community left and right?

    You are so off base and delusional. You must be on drugs!

  • Mike__in__Houston

    We should have wised up after Obama ignored us when we bitched about Danny McClurkin, and when he ignored us when we bitched about Rick Warren. Because we really needed someone to believe in, we set ourselves up for this major setback. We were still naive enough to believe that he didn’t have this brief planned despite the joke he made at our expense a couple of weeks ago right after the California Supreme Court decision.

    Yes, Obama has never claimed to be in favor of gay marriage. And yes, John is right that the administration’s brief is serious overkill.

    At least there is no more question of where we stand with Obama. I think we are wasting our time trying to get anything of any signficance accomplished in this administration. Let’s start looking to the future.

  • obamacrat

    Perspective. You know there are other things going on in the world. Iran election, for instance. There are whole sections of the world where gays are in much worse shape than you. Your cause is making great progress in this country and maybe even internationally. Quit whining over a frigging minor setback, especially since that setback should come as no surprise. You cannot undermine a case that does not exist. The courts were not going to invalidate this law, period. No matter what Obama did. This blog had the same attitude during the campaign. Hilary bad, Obama good. All black and white. It is never all black and white. Hilary Clinton went after Obama as you will recall and you found so disgusting. She was actually just being pragmatic and hard headed and possibly immunizing him against later GOP attacks. And she is now on his team. That is the way it works in politics and if you look for absolute purity you will be disappointed and react in a way that will probably hurt your cause in the long run.

  • bobbyjoe

    “Loving v. Virginia (June 12, 1967)”

    The Obama Administration: “Oh, I notice you have a wound. Would you like some salt with that?”

  • Elmo_Buzz

    if obama doesn’t have the balls to try to speak to and educate homophobic members of the black community, all i can say is that coretta scott king had more backbone than does our president!

    why should obama be more interested in getting the jews and arabs in being more tolerant than his own citizens?

  • nicho

    Well, then he’s miscalculating and miscalculating badly. He need our votes in 2010 or else he’s going to face the possibility of a GOP congress (at least one house). Many of the people of color who voted for the first time just to support Obama won’t be there in 2010, since he won’t be on the ballot. The wingnuts he’s reaching out to won’t be voting Dem. And, if the constituencies that Obama is throwing under the bus — peace, environment, GLBT, single-payer — don’t come out with fervor, he may have a tough time in the last two years of his one and only term as president.

  • Gridlock

    Fuckin A.

  • DorothyGale

    I just got troll rated at DailyKos for saying:

    “Look on the bright side
    At least he’s not throwing us in the ovens yet.”

    It’s not like they didn’t throw us into ovens, perhaps I could have been more artful in refreshing people’s memories about it but I’m glib. That’s what I do. I don’t think that was worth a troll rating.

  • Bostonian_Queer_in_Dallas

    I have been wondering how much of this is black homophobia. Black fags have a really tough time in the community. An ex of mine was thrown out of his family, disowned by nearly all of his friends, except the gays and lesbians who also decided to come out and face the ugly music. Many had to literally walk away from their lives in order to stop living on the “down low”. Maybe Barry is just a little too “black” afterall. Or maybe he is holding for a second term to make some real change. All I know is that I am tired of supporting people who throw me under the bus.

  • ann marie

    do you see whats happening here? the gay community is being thrown under the bus to salvage the votes of the AA homophobic churchy community. obama needs those votes in 3 years. those people will stay home. or they will vote republican. he knows gays wont. we never do. where are we going to go? the republicans know they have a shot at getting some of those black votes or they would never have made steele party chair. i mean seriously he is so incompetent. just like in california we saw AA voters come out for obama but that did not translate to votes to defeat prop 8. you can poo poo that idea all you want but its the truth. this is one of the only sites where the outrage over this thing is front page and center. obama is still being defended on every other liberal blog that i can see. we have become the single issue voters and we will be marginalized and demonized by our own allies on DK and everywhere else. we DO NOT COUNT!!!! thank you john for keeping up the criticism.

  • FunMe

    And this month is the 40th Anniversay of the Stonewall Riots.

    Another irony! “fierce advocate” my foot!

    Can I cry now and get mad later?

  • Radon

    I think the obvious thing to do is get a proposition on ballot in California for the next election repealing the inter-racial marriage law, and banning divorce, and see how straight people like that. I mean, why not?

    Maybe Obama would stop acting smug and arrogant about gay civil rights then.

  • Butch1

    There are just too many coincidences within the Obama administration for this to be random.

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