Marriage Certificate

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

Here I am celebrating my 1974 wedding to Diane Curling with a kiss at Christ Church in Alexandria, Va., the church of both President George Washington and Confederate General Robert E. Lee. We like to joke that Richard Nixon acted as our matchmaker because we met at a demonstration protesting his inauguration the previous year. Our marriage record shows me identifying myself as “Eurasian” because of my Chinese father and my Dutch mother. My wife, Diane, can trace her family back to 1608 and the arrival of the 2nd English ship to land Jamestown. In Virginia, until 1967, marriages between whites and those of all other races were illegal. That changed in 1967 with the unanimous Supreme Court decision in the case of Loving v. Virginia when Mildred Loving, a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, had their marriage affirmed and Virginia’s miscegenation laws, as well as those in 15 other states, declared unconstitutional. So, just seven years after that decision, my wife and I were able to marry in Virginia. As a first generation American and a native Virginian of many generations, we feel we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Lovings for their courage.

Place(s): Alexandria, Virginia

– Ting-Yi Oei, 1882 Foundation

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant