On June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Mildred and Richard Loving in the historic Loving v. Virginia case. The ruling effectively legalized interracial marriage in the United States, overturning all so-called anti-miscegenation laws. Anti-miscegenation laws originated in Virginia in the early 1700s as a means of upholding white supremacy.
By making interracial marital unions illegal, the state was effectively reinforcing racial divides between white and non-white people. Although interracial marriage was illegal, though, white rape of Black and Brown people was not — for this reason, anti-miscegenation laws helped to reinforce de facto policies of race-based sexual violence. Learn more about the racist history of anti-miscegenation laws.