Today is Loving Day. Here's what this unofficial celebration is all about

Posted at 10:01 AM, Jun 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-12 18:53:49-04

No, Loving Day is not some lame Valentine's Day knockoff.

It's an unofficial celebration that takes place every June 12 to commemorate a court decision that has made marriage possible for millions of people across the United States.

On June 12, 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court found anti-miscegenation laws to be unconstitutional in the case of Loving v. Virginia, opening the door for interracial marriages across the country.

At the time, 16 states still had anti-miscegenation laws, which banned interracial marriage — mainly preventing whites and non-whites from marrying.

The Supreme Court case involved a non-white woman, Mildred Loving , and a white man, Richard Loving. The two were married in Washington, D.C. in 1958 but returned to their home state of Virginia to find that their marriage was illegal, and the couple was arrested.

Loving Day isn't recognized by the U.S. government as an official holiday, but that doesn't mean it isn't celebrated. It was started by designer Ken Tanabe in 2004 and now has tons of supporters. It's even an official holiday in some cities, such as Alexandria, Virginia , which just passed the resolution Tuesday night.

Proud to designate today as #LovingDay in Alexandria and recognize the important work of two Alexandria attorneys in achieving this legal milestone.

— Justin Wilson (@justindotnet) June 12, 2019

Among all married people in 2015, 10 percent were married to a person of a different race or ethnicity, according to Pew Research Center . That's about 11 million people who wouldn't have been able to marry their spouse prior to the Loving v. Virginia court decision just 52 years ago.

As with any holiday, people took to social media to celebrate. Read the heartwarming tweets below.

Thank you, Richard and Mildred Loving, because your love for each other paved the way for equality in America and left a powerful legacy that lives on #LovingDay

— Morgan Moore (@MorganMooreTV) June 12, 2019

The day they legalized interracial marriage in all 50 states in America in 1967.

💚 My wife and son are the world to me.

— Yosh 🚀 (@ItsYoshh) June 12, 2019

Not lost on me as Travis & I prepare to travel next Friday for our wedding week.

⁣To all the government defying couples out there, Happy #LovingDay 👩🏾👱🏼‍♂️

— Antonia Okafor (@antonia_okafor) June 12, 2019