It seemed absurd to us that people of different races couldn't be at a restaurant together much less get married. How could it have been only 20 years? We were all stunned.
There have been many years of struggle leading up to the Loving case but it was finally ruled the Virginia statute violated both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In its decision, the court wrote that "marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man.."
After WWII African Americans who had fought along side white Americans were more demanding of the same sort of civil rights as their white counterparts. They argued that they had proved themselves. Why you would have to prove you deserve civil rights, I don't know, but there it was.
LGBT soldiers have been serving heroically in wars and during peace-time for many years. Have they proved they deserve the same civil liberties as everyone else, yet? Other countries think so. In NATO 22 of 26 countries allow sexual minorities to serve openly. Canada has had same-sex marriage for more than 5 years. Also Sweden , Norway, Netherlands (Holland), Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Iceland and South Africa all allow same-sex marriage.
And for those who point to the Bible to say it is against God I'd like to point out that at one time, before the supreme court declared the Virginia law unconstitutional, there was a federal judge who ruled in favor of it saying :
Now, in this modern age, most of us, thankfully, think this is ridiculous, racist and ignorant. However, at the time this was what some people believed, said and argued when discussing interracial marriage.
"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."
When I think of the future I think of kids 20 years from now reading about DADT and that same-sex couples were not allowed to marry. I imagine them being shocked that it was only 20 years ago. And how absurd it all was.