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Richard and Mildred Loving at their home in Central Point, Va., with their


children, from left, Peggy, Donald and Sidney, in 1967


In June.12. 2007, on the 51 

anniversary of the Supreme Court's


 decision in Loving, Mildred Loving issued a statement that said

I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, 

no matter their sexual orientation,

 should have that same freedom to marry ... 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. That's what Loving, 

and loving, are all about.



Mildred Delores Loving (née Jeter; July 22, 1939 – May 2, 2008)


was the daughter of Musial (Byrd) Jeter and The Oliver Jeter.


Mildred's racial identity has been a point of confusion. She has


been noted as self-identifying as Indian Rappahannock, but was


also reported as being of CherokeePortuguese, and


 African American ancestry. During the trial, it seemed clear that she


identified herself as black, especially as far as her own lawyer was


concerned. However, upon her arrest, the police report identifies


her as "Indian." She said in a 2004 interview, "I have no black ancestry.


it was seen at the time of her arrest as advantageous to be


"anything but black." There was an ingrained history in the state


of the denial of African ancestry. Additionally, the frequent racial mixing


of Central Point, where she lived, could have contributed to this idea


of fluid racial identity. Mildred was known as a quiet and humble


woman.




She was born and raised in the same rural Virginia community


as her husband, Richard.


Richard Perry Loving (October 29, 1933 – June 29, 1975) was a


white man, and the son of Lola (Allen) Loving and Twillie Loving.



He was a construction worker. The 1830 census marks Lewis Loving,


Richard’s paternal ancestor, as having owned seven slaves. Richard’s


grandfather, T.P. Farmer, fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War.


Their families both lived in Caroline County, Virginia. The county adhered to


strict Jim Crow segregation laws but Central Point had been a visible


mixed race community since the 19th century. Richard’s father worked


for one of the wealthiest black men in the county for 25 years.


Richard’s closest companions were black, including those he


drag raced with and Mildred’s older brothers. The couple met in


high school and fell in love. Richard moved into the Jeter household


when Mildred became pregnant.


After the Supreme Court case, the couple moved back to Central Point,


where Richard built them a house. The couple had three


children: Donald, Peggy, and Sidney. Richard Loving died aged


41 in 1975, when a drunk driver struck his car in Caroline County,


Virginia. Mildred Loving lost her right eye in the same accident.


She died of pneumonia on May 2, 2008, in her home in


Central Point, aged 68.



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