Kennedy referred Mildred and Richard Loving's case to the
American Civil Liberties Union, and in 1967, eleven years after
the couple had been exiled from Virginia for violating the
state's anti-miscegenation laws, the U.S. Supreme Court struck
down legislation that prohibited interracial marriages.
Nearly 50 years after the landmark ruling, the quiet, working
class Lovings are showcased in the film, "Loving," out in U.S.
theaters on Friday.
Behind every cause are the people that fight for something they
believe in, and in this case, the Lovings' unwavering devotion
to one another was what inspired writer-director Jeff Nichols.
"We stop thinking about the humanity at the center of these
things, and that's what Richard and Mildred show us," he said.
In "Loving," the couple from Caroline County, Virginia, travel
to Washington, D.C. to get married, bypassing Virginia's strict
laws preventing interracial marriage.
They return to their home to live quietly under the radar, but
the police are tipped off and the Lovings, who are expecting
their first child, are arrested and given a suspended prison
sentence on the condition that they leave Virginia.
The film centers on the Lovings' quiet daily lives, with little
dialogue between the couple, but their discomfort living in
cramped quarters in a noisy big city and their desire to go back
to Virginia is the catalyst for their case.
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The Lovings "weren't standing on podiums shouting and inciting
crowds. They were literally kind of pushed through an already open
door; they weren't kicking it in," said Joel Edgerton, who plays
"They're very identifiable, unwilling heroes," he added.
The Loving vs Virginia case was cited in arguments for same-sex
marriage, which in 2015 was made legal across the United States.
"They changed the legislative nature of the judicial system, they
changed the American constitution, they paved the way for a lot of
people's lives," said Ruth Negga, who plays Mildred Loving.
"I don't think anyone should ever think that their voice is too
small or too quiet, because this couple shows it's the exact
opposite," she added.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)
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