FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | June 1, 2007
Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, Historic Decision on Racial and Marriage Equality
(New York, NY, June 1, 2007) — Freedom to Marry will join several of the nation's leading civil rights organizations in a compelling newspaper advertising campaign on June 4th to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the landmark Supreme Court case that advanced racial equality and the freedom to marry in America. The "Freedom to Marry" campaign celebrates the Loving case's significance in American history and ongoing relevance to the struggle for marriage equality.
The campaign will consist of a series of six ads in Roll Call and The Politico to spark a national dialogue about the current legal barriers to equality in America. The ads feature prominent interracial couples such as former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen and his wife, Janet Langhart, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his wife, Columba, as examples of couples who could not marry in many states before the 1967 Loving decision.
Freedom to Marry will also join sponsoring organizations at a press conference and reception on Capitol Hill on June 12th, marking the 40th anniversary of the Loving decision. Members of Congress, interracial couples, and leaders from groups championing inclusion, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc. (NAACP LDF), the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund, and Faith in America are expected to participate.
The "Freedom to Marry" campaign hails the Loving v. Virginia decision as a milestone in the fight for racial and marriage equality because it affirmed the freedom to marry as a "basic civil right" of every American. The campaign also highlights the hard work of key civil rights organizations such as the NAACP LDF and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who had to fight to end discrimination in marriage.
Asian American Justice Center, Faith in America, Freedom to Marry, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Hispanic National Bar Association, Lambda Legal, Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund, National Black Justice Coalition, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights
The "Freedom to Marry" ad campaign, a series of six ads that will run in Roll Call and The Politico.
Roll Call, June 4 - 7th and 11th
Loving v. Virginia began when Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple, were arrested in Virginia after their Washington, DC wedding and sentenced to one year in prison. The Lovings appealed their conviction all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which struck down discriminatory restrictions on who could marry whom. On June 12, 1967, the Court ruled that: "The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men."
The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.
Freedom to Marry is the gay and non-gay partnership working to win marriage equality nationwide. Launched in 2003, Freedom to Marry is headed by Evan Wolfson, nationally recognized as a central "architect of the marriage equality movement." Freedom to Marry guides and focuses this social justice movement on a nationwide level, serving as a strategy and support center for national, state, and local partners, a catalyst that drives and shapes the national debate on marriage equality, and an alliance-builder fostering support from non-gay allies. Visit us at http://www.freedomtomarry.org/.
Director of Communications
National Center for Lesbian Rights
office: 415.392.6257 x324
National Center for Lesbian Rights
office: 415.392.6257 x305
Freedom to Marry