There's love in the air at the farm. A pair of owls called back and forth to each other all night.
In the early hours of this morning, I hoped they'd found time to eat - what with all the shouting sweet nothings and lifelong promises at each other across the paddock. Then I remembered you don't need to eat when you're in love.
I lay next to husband and remembered falling in with him. It was fast and intense. Being so happy was terrifying. I kept waiting for the bottom to fall out. He seemed so good, so nice that I was sure there must be something wrong with him, especially seeing he was so into me.
As time went on it became obvious to us and to everyone else that this was it. We were engaged and married in 2007.
It's impossible and abhorrent to me that just forty years prior a couple in America were sentenced to a year in prison because they dared to marry the person they loved.
Mildred Jeter, an African-American girl and Richard Loving, a white boy were in love. So when Mildred fell pregnant in 1958 they travelled to Washington to get hitched because the law in Virginia considered interracial marriage a crime. One night after they’d returned home to Central Point, a small town in Virginia; local police raided their bedroom at midnight. They’d hoped to find the couple fornicating, but they only found them asleep in their marital bed. The Lovings were charged with “cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth”.
On January 6, 1959, the Lovings pled guilty and were sentenced to one year in prison, with the sentence suspended for 25 years on condition that the couple leave the state of Virginia. They moved to Columbia.
In 1964 the couple, frustrated by their inability to travel together to visit their families, decided they’d had enough. Mildred wrote to then Attorney General Robert Kennedy and then to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The ACLU filed a motion on behalf of the Lovings which ultimately reached the Supreme Court. Their claim was rejected.
Eventually they appealed the decision and on June 12 1967 the Supreme Court overturned their convictions in a unanimous decision. At the time Chief Justice Earl Warren said "Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival....
There are so many parts of this story that I struggle with....
I cannot imagine having faced this much adversity in a lifetime of marriage, much less the first nine years.
I cannot believe that this occurred in modern memory - that people still thought this way within my Mother’s lifetime.
I cannot fathom that two people, having fallen in love, couldn’t marry because of their appearance.
I'm in disbelief that Richard died eight years later when his car was struck by a drunk driver.
Finally, I'm incredulous that in 2013, same sex couples face the same prejudice that the Lovings fought so hard forty years ago.
After listening to those owls last night and remembering how all-consuming love can be, I've decided go on the record - love is love.
I support marriage equality.
I believe same-sex couples should be able to marry.
In June 2007 on the fortieth anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision Mildred Loving issued a statement:
I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry... I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight, seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving, and loving, are all about.
Mildred Loving died in 2008.
I've heard those owls still calling this morning - it appears they've also forgotten they're nocturnal. They're not eating, they're not sleeping - they're screwed. It must be love!
have you ever been in love?
what can you hear from your bedroom window?
not all of my readers will share my views on this issue, that's OK.
fair warning though - I'll delete any comments I consider hateful.