Centuries before the same-sex marriage movement , the U. It's widely known that the Deep South banned interracial marriages until , but less widely known is that many other states did the same. California, for example, prohibited these marriages until In addition, politicians made three brazen attempts to ban interracial marriages nationally by amending the U. Maryland passes the first British colonial law banning marriage between white people and Black people—a law that, among other things, orders the enslavement of white women who have married Black men:. This legislation leaves unaddressed two important questions: It draws no distinction between enslaved and free Black people and omits marriages between white men who marry Black women.
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About Follow Donate. By Gretchen Livingston and Anna Brown. In the racial and ethnic classification system used for this report, individuals are classified first by ethnicity defined as whether someone is Hispanic or not and then by race. As such, all references to whites, blacks, Asians, American Indians, multiracial persons or persons of some other race include those who are not Hispanic; Hispanics may be of any race.
You can now get daily emails with our calendar entries. Sign up. Virginia , declaring state bans on interracial marriage unconstitutional and striking down a total of sixteen states with laws still active throughout the country. Richard and Mildred Loving married in Washington, D. Facing prison time, the Lovings pleaded guilty to the charges in , received a suspended sentence and were ordered to leave the state for twenty-five years.
On June 12, , the Supreme Court issued its Loving v. Virginia decision, which struck down laws that banned inter-racial marriages as unconstitutional. Here is a brief recap of this landmark civil rights case.