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In 1967, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously ruled that anti-miscegenation laws were unconstitutional, citing the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The ruling struck down laws in sixteen states that banned inter-racial marriage and overturned an earlier 1883 Supreme Court ruling; Pace v. Alabama. Richard Loving, a white man, and his wife Mildred, a woman of colour, had been sentenced to a year in prison for marrying contrary to Virginia law; their sentence was suspended upon condition that they leave the state and not return for at least twenty-five years. Their 1958 marriage, which took place in the District of Columbia where inter-racial marriage was legal, was considered invalid in Virginia and the couple were arrested after establishing their marital home in the Virginian county in which they grew up. With the support of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Lovings appealed their convictions and took their case all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States, resulting in the landmark ruling that concluded, ‘marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival’.