Against interracial dating 20
Anti-miscegenation laws, therefore, were attempts to eradicate the legal status of real marriages by injecting a condition—sameness of race—that had no precedent in common law.
For in the common law, a necessary condition for a legitimate marriage was male-female complementarity, a condition on which race has no bearing.
While doing research for an academic paper on the topic of same-sex marriage and political liberalism, I was struck by how many authors, including judges, draw an analogy between bans on interracial marriage and the present law in almost every state in the United States that recognizes marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
The court cases most frequently cited by these writers are In this case [Goodridge], as in Perez and Loving, a statute deprives individuals of access to an institution of fundamental legal, personal, and social significance—the institution of marriage—because of a single trait: skin color in Perez and Loving, sexual orientation here.
The overwhelming consensus among scholars is that the reason for these laws was to enforce racial purity, an idea that begins its cultural ascendancy with the commencement of race-based slavery of Africans in early 17(1927), the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Virginia’s forced sterilization of Carrie Buck under that statute.
In some of the most memorable and chilling words ever penned by a Supreme Court justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” The Racial Integrity Act and The Eugenical Sterilization Act were of a piece, both legislative accomplishments of the eugenics movement and its goal of racial purity.
By injecting race into the equation, anti-miscegenation supporters were very much like contemporary same-sex marriage proponents, for in both cases they introduced a criterion other than male-female complementarity in order to promote the goals of a utopian social movement: race purity or sexual egalitarianism.
, which struck down all anti-miscegenation laws remaining in 16 states.
Of the 3.6 million adults who got married in 2013, 58% of American Indians, 28% of Asians, 19% of blacks and 7% of whites have a spouse whose race was different from their own.
The overall numbers mask significant gender gaps within some racial groups.
In other words, the fact that a man and a woman from different races were biologically and metaphysically capable of marrying each other, building families, and living among the general population is precisely why the race purists wanted to forbid such unions by the force of law.
And because this view of marriage and its gender-complementary nature was firmly in place and the only understanding found in common law, the Supreme Court in knew that racial identity was not relevant to what marriage requires of its two opposite-gender members.