Although the racist laws against mixed marriages are gone, several interracial couples said in interviews they still get nasty looks, insults and sometimes even violence when people find out about their relationships. Kimberly D. Lucas of St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Washington, D. She often counsels engaged interracial couples through the prism of her own year marriage — Lucas is black and her husband, Mark Retherford, is white.
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On July 11, , newlyweds Richard and Mildred Loving were asleep in bed when three armed police officers burst into the room. The couple were hauled from their house and thrown into jail, where Mildred remained for several days, all for the crime of getting married. At that time, 24 states across the country had laws strictly prohibiting marriage between people of different races. Five weeks earlier, the longtime couple had learned Mildred was pregnant and decided to wed in defiance of the law. In , they approached the American Civil Liberties Union to fight their case in court.