In order to first understand what the same-sex debate is all about, one must first learn about the civil rights landmark case, Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967). It is a romantic story about an African/Native American woman, Mildred Loving, and a white man, Richard Loving, who happen to fall in love in the State of Virginia. (Trust me, you too will see the irony in the surname, “Loving.”) Since Virginia outlawed interracial marriage at the time, the couple wed in Washington D.C. However, upon their return to their home state of Virginia, the couple was prosecuted for marrying contrary to Virginia law and were essentially forced to leave the state.  Sad, right? (I know, we too see the irony in that Virginia is known as the “State for lovers”.) Well, things actually work out for this couple. The United State Supreme Court unanimously struck down the Virginia law for being unconstitutional in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Ah yes, the Fourteenth Amendment. It’s an important one, alright. For one, the Equal Protection clause of our beloved Fourteenth Amendment states, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Deep, right?

So, I know what you are thinking. “What does this tale about two young lovers have to do with same-sex marriage?” The answer: A lot.  Those who support same-sex marriages argue that anti-same-sex marriage laws deny people the equal protection of the laws. Sound familiar? That was the same argument used in Loving. Of course, Loving was about interracial marriage and had nothing to do with a union as it pertained to sexual orientation.

Despite this however, there is no denying that there is a deep-established connection between loving and Loving. The Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is not only relevant to the same-sex marriage debate, it is key. Perhaps Mildred Loving said it perfectly in 2007 when she was quoted stating:


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.

I mean, really; no one could have said it any better.

Iandoli & Edens, LLC is a law practice exclusively devoted to family related matters. If you have questions about same-sex marriage or any family related matters, talk to one of our attorneys. They are here to help you. Call 908.879.9499 today or click here to visit the Iandoli & Edens, LLC website for more information.