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  • Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, was a landmark civil rights decision of the United States Supreme Court which invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage. The case was brought by Mildred Loving, a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, who had been sentenced to a year in prison in Virginia for marrying each other. Their marriage violated the state's anti-miscegenation statute, the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which prohibited marriage between people classified as "white" and people classified as "colored". The Supreme Court's unanimous decision held this prohibition was unconstitutional, reversing Pace v. Alabama and ending all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States. The decision was followed by an increase in interracial marriages in the U.S., and is remembered annually on Loving Day, June 12. It has been the subject of two movies as well as songs. Beginning in 2013, it was cited as precedent in U.S. federal court decisions holding restrictions on same-sex marriage in the United States unconstitutional.

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