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You have the right to love Next year will mark 50 years since the United States Supreme Court struck down laws prohibiting interracial marriage in the case Loving v. Richard and Mildred Loving, a White man and Black woman, fell in love in the midst of the civil rights era. C., returned home to Virginia and were arrested in the middle of the night five weeks later—charged with violating the state's antimiscegenation law.In January 1959 the Lovings pleaded guilty and were sentenced to a year in jail.

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But the reality often hits home during the holidays, when discussing your love life becomes an appetizer at meals with the family.It's complicated Toya Lachon, 43, of Washington, D.C., says she feels frustrated, hurt and even betrayed when she sees Black men with women of other races, but happy when she sees Black women in an interracial relationship."I'm like, Yes, girl, do that," says Lachon. Women are taking control of their happiness."Dating interracially can still come with backlash for both Black men and women.What can be even more disheartening than seeing your beautiful, professional, well-educated sisterfriend still unattached is seeing a successful Black man settle down with someone of another ethnic group.The immediate thought for many is, With all the gorgeous, accomplished Black women available, why didn't he choose one of us?It didn't matter to me if she was Black or White."That's why he was surprised at the negative reaction he received from some loved ones, mainly those in North Carolina.

A long conversation with his mother helped him understand why some Black women in the family were hurt by his decision."When I was able to step back and put myself in their shoes, I could understand their perspective, even though I didn't agree," Hargrove says. Some of Hargrove's in-laws made it known that he wasn't welcome.

The judge suspended the sentence if they agreed not to return to Virginia for 25 years.

The American Civil Liberties Union took on the case in 1963, with several appeals leading to the Supreme Court ruling unanimously in 1967 that Virginia's antimiscegenation laws violated the Fourteenth Amendment.

Lachon, who is seeing a White man, has experienced her share of adverse reaction."I've come across a lot of men who tell me I should be ashamed and say things like, "It's not too late to come home" or "He won't know what to do with all of that." I've heard it all. But the negative comments can be more distressing when they come from family or close friends.

Asia Diggs Meador, 33, had never considered marrying outside her race.

"These are professional people who work with all races and ethnicities. They were supportive in the end, but we still have issues today."Meador, who describes herself as a "chocolate, thick girl with locs," says she and her husband, Michael, 31, have clashed with her pals.