June 12 Loving Day: How a Supreme Court decision paved way for interracial couples

Two La Crosse couples say love transcends all backgrounds
Loving day

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – June 12 marks Loving Day. It’s a celebration of the day the Supreme Court struck down state bans against interracial marriage.
Two La Crosse couples embrace their similarities a whole lot more than their differences. They say the community should do the same.

Every love story has a place where two people meet.

“We met originally at Macalester College when we were both students there,” La Crosse resident Nell Saunders-Scott said.

La Crosse residents Vince and Linda Hamilton said they both met at a fundraiser at the Viterbo University in the 1980s. These families have rooted their lives in La Crosse.

“I’m originally from Jamaica,” David Saunders-Scott said.

Today they are celebrating Loving Day.

Fifty-three years ago in 1967, Richard and Mildred Loving paved the way for Vince and Linda and Nell and David to be able to say the words “I do.”

“At that time and before that in several of the states it was illegal for interracial couples to marry,” David Saunders-Scott said.

The day is named for the monumental case Loving v. Virginia when the Supreme Court struck down 16 state bans on interracial marriage.

It’s a right people are no longer denied.

“Our experience should be not a news story, you know?” Nell Saunders-Scott said.

It’s something all people should have been able to do before that time. However, this holiday is a reminder to celebrate a decision that proved we are all people.

“You wouldn’t say, ‘Well someone is a race of green-eyed people or blue-eyed people,” David Saunders-Scott said. “That’s ridiculous right.”

When people look past what they cannot see they learn they are not so different.

“My mom would say, ‘Vince reminds me a lot of your dad. … and I said, ‘Oh why is that?’ She said, ‘because he treats you so well and supports your goals,” Linda Hamilton said.

Vince Hamilton said his parents taught him to love people.

“The creator God made all colors,” Vince Hamilton said.

Look at the love of your life and imagine if someone said you couldn’t spend your life with your best friend.

“It would feel so unfair and cruel I think,” David Saunders-Scott said.

Nell and David said they feel like any other family in the La Crosse region, just with a different story to tell.

“We’re so so normal,” Nell Saunders Scott said. “We’re…(“Insignificant,” David Saunders Scott added.”) “We’re really insignificant. We really are.” “We’re equals in all the ways that we are different,” David Saunders-Scott said.

Vince Hamilton said love transcends all backgrounds.

“Love is the key out of all of them,” he said. “Even hope, faith, love is the greatest. No doubt about that.” “On loving day,” Linda Hamilton said.