Governor Terry McAuliffe recently announced that a motion picture based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a Virginia interracially married couple, will be film in the Commonwealth. In 1958, the Lovings were arrested for violating a state law at the time prohibiting the marriage of Blacks and Whites. The couple sued, and their case was ultimately heard in 1967 by the United States Supreme Court, becoming a landmark civil rights case in defense of marriage equality.
Speaking about his announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “Loving is a significant American story that should be told, and I am happy to announce it will be filmed in Virginia.”
The film stars Ruth Negga (World War Z, The Samaritan) and Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby, Zero Dark Thirty). It will be directed by acclaimed film director Jeff Nichols (Mud, Take Shelter) and was inspired by The Loving Story, a documentary that aired on HBO.
The story surrounds 17-year-old Mildred Jeter, who is Black, and 23-year-old White construction worker Richard Loving. After marrying in Washington, D.C., they returned to Virginia in 1958 and were charged with unlawful cohabitation and jailed.
The judge sentenced the Lovings to a year in prison but agreed to suspend it if the couple agreed to leave the state for the next 25 years.
The Lovings left Virginia and went to live with relatives in Washington, D.C. When they returned to visit family five years later, they were arrested for traveling together. Mildred Loving sought help from then Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. Their case was referred to the ACLU which represented them in the landmark Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia in 1967. The court found that state bans on interracial marriage were unconstitutional.