Timeline 1900 – 2017

Margaret Goosey and Thomas Johnson

Margaret Goosey, a white British women, was jailed in the USA for six months, because she had married Thomas Johnson, a former black GI she had met in England. After her sentence, Goosey was deported back to England. The marriage had the support of Goosey’s family, including her father even though he was initially opposed to the relationship.


Goosey’s case was debated in the House of Commons – Tom Driberg, MP for Maldon, asking Ernest Bevin, then Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, what action he had taken to safeguard her interests as well as whether Bevan considered referring the subject to the Working Group on the Convention of Human Rights. Bevan declined to do so, stating that he could not intervene in cases where existing laws in other countries had been flouted.

However undesirable a particular marriage may seem to be to many people, or to local legislators, would my right hon. Friend not agree that it is an elementary human right that men and women should be allowed to get married, irrespective of race or creed, and will he, therefore, consider referring this very difficult subject for discussion by the Working Group on the Convention on Human Rights?

— Mr Tom Driberg, MP for Maldon, to Ernest Bevin, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Commons debate, 11 February 1948.