It's hard to believe that only 40 years ago, some states in our union did not allow interracial couples to marry. I hope that my future children can look back 40 years from now and say the same thing about their moms and other same-sex couples. Today especially, I'm proud to work for the ACLU, because we have a track record of making sure people have equal protection under the law. 

Bernard Cohen, an ACLU attorney, took the case of Richard and Mildred Loving of Virginia, an interracial couple that had to leave their home state to avoid being put in jail for violating the state's laws against their marriage. I can't imagine being arrested for marrying the person you love, but I can imagine not being able to get married in the first place. 

Today, same-sex couples leave Maine to live in another state, where their marriages will be legally recognized.  Unfortunately, the Defense of Marriage Act prevents federal recognition and benefits to couples who are married in states that allow same-sex marriage. All of the other New England states except for Maine, by the way. 

Cohen won his case on behalf of the Lovings, which went all the way to the Supreme Court in 1967. His closing argument was so moving, I wanted to share some of it with you: 

"The Lovings have the right to go to sleep at night knowing that if should they not wake in the morning, their children would have the right to inherit from them. They have the right to be secure in knowing that, if they go to sleep and do not wake in the morning, that one of them, a survivor of them, has the right to Social Security benefits. All of these are denied to them, and they will not be denied to them if the whole anti-miscegenistic scheme of Virginia... [is] found unconstitutional."

At the ACLU, we believe that same-sex couples should have all the same rights listed in Cohen's closing argument about interracial couples 40 years ago. We're getting closer to achieving that goal. This weekend is Southern Maine Pride and we're marching to celebrate our victories thus far as we hope for a historical win this November. To join us, email me at