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Apart from a shared passion for social justice causes, there was little that set apart the Lowes from other young couples of their generation. The opinion did pave the way for longtime unions like that of Rosina and Leon Watson, who inafter a long courtship, were married in the Fruitvale district of Oakland at St.

On a recent afternoon, Leon, 81, was listening to a zydeco CD in their cozy East Oakland bungalow while Rosina, 80, knitted.

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Bill Lowe, who had served as a submarine repairman during World War II, would pick up his new girlfriend for dates in his Chevy coupe. Feeling unwelcome, and far from their comfortable East Bay network of family and friends, the Lowes did not linger in the Pacific Northwest. The couple stumbled into the hands of an acquaintance, lawyer Dan Marshall, who vigorously sued Los Angeles County, first casting the claim as one based on freedom of religion because the Catholic Church supported their desire to marry. Couples look back on when interracial love defied laws.

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In November, voter-approved Proposition 8 overrides the court by eliminating the right of same-sex couples to marry. More in News.

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The court was ahead of its time. She had changed her mind. And unlike many other states, California would not prosecute the returning newlyweds dating anti-miscegenation laws that governed what race could mix with another — just as long as they got married someplace else. They were devout Catholics who met on a workplace assembly line. Sharp case, California Supreme Court rules in Oakland that same-sex marriage should also be a fundamental right. The Watsons watched as whites suddenly moved from their 77th Avenue neighborhood after the couple moved in, and were later snubbed while house-hunting in the white suburb of San Leandro.

By Bay Area News Group. Today, the of interracial couples who can remember such experiences from that era is dwindling. And Marshall, in turn, stumbled into the hands of Roger Traynor, a supreme court judge whose majority opinion in the case interracial beyond arguments for religious freedom.

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Their gifts were those of modest households living in a difficult time: An alarm clock and handmade ashtrays, a blanket from her parents, a used toaster. Later, a lawyer, Dan Marshall, will help the Catholic couple sue to marry on the basis of religious liberty.

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The Lowes were pulled over several times by Oakland police who suspected Bill Lowe might be a pimp and his wife a prostitute. That says a lot.

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A private man, Orenstein said he cut off the discussions because he loved his wife deeply, missed her, and it pained him to talk so much about the case. They spent less than a day there, taking a sleeping car back to Oakland. Miscegenation was a politically and socially volatile issue, and most civil rights organizations were focused on dismantling laws segregating public places, Moran said.

The opinion was stunning, scholars said. He later came to accept it, she said. Lowe said she was also moved by the election of President Barack Obama, who is younger than her three dating but, like them, was born to a white woman and a black man at a time when such unions were less common — and still banned in many states. Davis was black and Perez, from a Spanish-speaking family of Mexican descent, was regarded by state law as white. Jeanne Lowe, who has three children, one of them a lesbian, Oakland she feels that adults have the right to marry whomever they choose.

New Mexico was the second. He interracial up as a foster child in a predominantly African-American neighborhood of South Berkeley.

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The first time Bill Lowe proposed, Jeanne Tobey declined. They avoided the stares. Hers was polite. Bill Lowe was black. In Octobersix months after the Lowes obtained their Washington marriagethe California Supreme Court in a divisive ruling became the first in the 20th century to strike down a state ban on interracial marriage. More than 60 years later, sitting on a couch in her Hercules home, her eyes still sparkle when she thinks about it.

Report an error Policies and Standards. And he was a good dancer and I liked to dance.

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No one really touched it. Washington, at the time, was the closest place to go. Growing up in a Spanish-speaking family that had lived in New Mexico for generations, Rosina Watson said her father was initially furious that she was dating a black man from Mississippi.

The need to be responsive to change was really considerable. She grew up on an all-white street in East Oakland. County clerk refuses because she is white and he is black.

Bill Lowe died inas have friends from their circle of East Bay interracial couples who married just before and after Andrea Perez died in Orenstein spoke with Sylvester Davis inin the last interview he was known to have given. The county clerk refused to give them a marriage when they went to pick one up in What happened next, in some ways, was a fluke, say scholars who have studied the decision.

And once it was over, the newlywed couple forever disappeared from public light. They have lived in the same house sinceraising three children there.

Getting married was illegal. Mixed marriages had been banned in California for almost as long as it was a state, so the couple could not have expected that before the year was over, a landmark court ruling would have allowed them to marry in Oakland. Virginia, the U. Supreme Court, under Chief Justice Earl Warren, unanimously declared anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional nationwide.

When Jeanne Lowe went to job interviews, her husband would sometimes, instinctively, drop her off two blocks away so she could make a better first impression.

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Jodene Morrell, a San Francisco teacher of German and Japanese heritage, stopped dating white men after a bad experience with her high school sweetheart.