Argued: Loving v. Virginia — The U.S. Supreme Court will strike down a Virginia law against interracial marriages, declaring that marriage is a "fundamental civil right" and that decisions in this arena are not those with which the state can interfere unless they have good cause.
The Virginia law that will be found unconstitutional makes interracial marriage a felony:
"If any white person intermarry with a colored person, or any colored person intermarry with a white person, he shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by confinement in the penitentiary for not less than one nor more than five years."
In the unanimous decision, the Supreme Court says:
"Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival. (Skinner v. Oklahoma) ...To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. 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."
Read More: Loving v. Virginia