Today is Loving Day—it commemorates the Supreme Court decision that officially made it illegal to discriminate against a proposed marriage based on the race of those involved. For 16 states in the US, it wasn’t until 1967, that they were forced to allow inter-racial marriages.

As a member of an inter-racial marriage, this particular decision holds my attention. I wonder why inter-racial marriages were so problematic. Certainly, both my government and my religion have at times cautioned against them. And frankly, although no one is banned from marrying a member of another race now, there are still plenty of people who have negative feelings about inter-racial couples. Why?

I don’t think it is the kids produced from these unions, as baffling as they might be. My inter-racial kids are arguably the cutest, smartest, best-behaved children you will ever encounter. No one blames a person for the race or mix of races they happen to be.

I do think people are uncomfortable with the parents, though. But only some of the parents. When a Euro-Argentine marries a Mongolian, people think: “how romantic; how improbable—they found each other. What a love story.” When a Palestinian marries an Israeli, people comment on the “star-crossed lovers.” Yet when the family in front of me at the grocery store includes a black woman and a waspy man, I think: “huh? What is going on?”

I think we, humans, have a tendency to be most concerned about the members of our own group. So if I see a fellow white person marrying a black person, I might think: “why would she do that? Couldn’t she find one of us to fill this role in her life?” When the lady I visit teach has a string of Hispanic boyfriends, I wonder: “does she hate white people?” It is not all about race: Mormons do it too. When a man in your ward marries a non-member, you wonder: “what is wrong with him (or us) that he couldn’t just have hooked up with Sister X, Y, or Z?”

Granted: I can’t read people’s minds, but I THINK this is the kind of thinking that goes on; we somehow take this other relationship and make it a commentary on us. Even the most race-sensitive of us are not entirely immune to this sort of thing (alas).

And now, let me tell you a secret:

You are right.

My husband who does not share my race does satisfy me in a way that no one my race could. In celebration of Loving Day, let me list some fabulous advantages to not being married to someone who grew up JUST LIKE ME:

1. (I cannot overstate my joy at this) He has no interest in video or computer games of any sort
2. Our children do not sunburn
3. He accepts what I do and think as the norm for “my people”
4. He has no desire for sweets and so I get all the leftover pie to myself
5. I will never have to curl my daughter’ hair
6. He never watches the inexplicable sport you call American Football
7. My kids are easily picked out of a crowd at Primary gatherings/mobs
8. I can carefully control the American culture to which he is exposed
9. He does not indulge in potty humor of any kind
10. No one ever thinks we look like brother and sister

So next time you see an inter-racial couple, just know: yes, they were rejecting YOU when they crossed over to another race.

[N/B: Most people decide who to marry without considering what YOU will think of the union. If it was not abundantly clear, I don't think anyone was actually rejecting any race when choosing to marry a member of another]