Bernard Cohen.’Loving’ Lawyer.Francis Miller LIFE Picture Collection 1967

Bernard Cohen has died, the Virginia human rights lawyer who successfully argued for interracial marriage before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967. Richard Loving, who was White, married his wife Mildred, who was Black, in Washington, D.C. because Virginia, where they lived, had a “miscegenation” law prohibiting interracial marriage. Then they went home to Virginia. One night at 2 a.m., the local sheriff raided their house, got them out of bed and arrested them for loving each other. The case, called Loving v. Virginia, established a precedent later used by the High Court, allowing same-sex couples to marry. Mr. Cohen, 29 years old when he won the case, later became a longtime member of the Virginia House of Delegates. (Francis Miller/LIFE Picture Collection)

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