‘Loving’ trailer shows the fight for interracial relationships

When Richard and Mildred Loving got married in 1958, their relationship became the source of much ire because he was white and she was black. The story of how the two fought for their right to love each other, all the way to the Supreme Court, is the subject of “Loving,” whose first trailer released Tuesday.

“Loving,” from acclaimed writer-director Jeff Nichols, tells the true story of the Lovings, played by Joel Edgerton (“Black Mass,” “The Great Gatsby”) and Ruth Negga (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Warcraft”).

When the couple married in the late ’50s, interracial marriage wasn’t just complicated, it was illegal. Since they couldn’t get married in their home state of Virginia (or 24 other states), they went to the District of Columbia and were wed on June 2, 1958. But back in Virginia, they were convicted and sentenced to a year of jail for the crime of marrying outside their races. That is, unless they agreed to a different sentence: Leave the state, not to return for 25 years.

With the help of the ACLU, the Lovings challenged the law in the U.S. Supreme Court in Loving vs. Virginia. And in 1967, the court ruled unanimously that state bans on interracial marriage were unconstitutional. The decision would help set the stage for the high court’s legalization of same-sex marriage decades later.


Since then, the Lovings have gone down in history for what they represent to interracial couples and their offspring. About 13 years ago, Loving Day grew out of a graduate thesis project by graphic designer Ken Tanabe. It has become a celebration of that landmark decision and of multicultural identity.

“Loving,” distributed by Focus Features,” will open in limited released Nov. 4, followed by a nationwide release later that month.

Times staff writer Michelle Maltais contributed to this report.

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