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With Bahá’í leader Abdu’l-Bahá declaring his staunch support for interracial marriages, Louis and Louisa were married in 1912 in New York, becoming the first interracial Bahá’í couple.
Louis Gregory became a strong advocate for racial unity in both the United States as well as within the Bahá’í community; his most significant expression of the teachings of his faith come from his marriage.
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. Upon their return to Virginia, they were arrested and found guilty, with the judge informing Mildred that “as long as you live you will be known as a felon.” The Lovings moved to the relative safety of Washington, but longed to return to their home state.
The last law officially prohibiting interracial marriage was repealed in Alabama in 2000.
While attending law school in England, Ruth met Sir Seretse Khama (then Prince Seretse Khama), the chief of the Bamangwato tribe, who became Botswana's first president in 1966.
Under his leadership, the country underwent significant economic and social progress, while Ruth was a politically active and influential First Lady.
In order to evade Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act, the pair had traveled to Washington, D. In 1963, they approached the American Civil Liberties Union to fight their case in court.
After an extensive legal battle, the Supreme Court ruled that laws prohibiting interracial marriage were unconstitutional in June of 1967.
But first they had to overcome the wave of bigotry brought about by their controversial marriage.