The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a Virginia law banning marriage between African Americans and Caucasians was unconstitutional, thus nullifying similar statues in 15 other states. The decision came in a case involving Richard Perry Loving, a white construction worker and his African American wife, Mildred. The couple married in the District of Columbia in 1958 and were arrested upon their return to their native Caroline County, Virginia. They were given one year suspended sentences on condition that they stay out of the state for 25 years. The Lovings decided in 1963 to return home and fight banishment, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union.