Our daughter, Jemine Leigh Oakes informed me that today is “Loving Day. I did not know that. I discovered that it is an annual celebration held on June 12, the anniversary of the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia which struck down all anti-miscegenation laws remaining in sixteen U.S. states. In the United States, anti-miscegenation laws were U.S. state laws banning interracial marriage, mainly forbidding marriage between non-whites and whites, until the Warren Court ruled unanimously in 1967 that these state laws were unconstitutional. Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote in the court majority opinion that “the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed by the State.” Loving Day is not an officially recognized holiday by the U.S. government, despite attempts to make it so. Loving Day is the biggest multiracial celebration in the United States.
Our daughter, Jemine Leigh Oakes, remembered how her dad and I had to fight to marry. That was in Romania 46 years ago. It is such a long time that I almost forgot about that story. At that time I was not a Christian. But clearly, God’s hand was upon me and my Husband, Pastor Richmond Leigh. What is the lessons? True love never fails! God can never lose! Praise the Lord somebody! Bellow see what Jemine wrote on her Facebook account today:
“Did you know my parents were not allowed to marry? At the time, my dad was studying medicine in Romania (which was communist at the time). The government wouldn’t acknowledge their marriage. They went and camped with friends that stood by them at the steps of the judiciary building doing a hunger strike for days in protest. They fought for their love. And they won!
When I reflect on my own parents’ story, and people like the Lovings that decided to fight for change, I’m encouraged. My parents raised us to love all humankind. So here we are at a pivotal moment in 2020… what will you tell your grandkids about your role in history? I read Proverbs 31:8 again this morning… it says “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak out for justice.”
I am a child of promise. A product of love that claimed the victory. I celebrate #lovingday today with great pride. My parents have been married for 46 years!!! Honoring them and the Lovings today!”
(In the picture, Tali and I, in Venice, Italy, about 1975)