When Did Interracial Marriage Become Legal in California

When County Clerk W.G. Sharp turned them away, a Mexican-American woman and an African-American man, citing Section 69, the couple was surprised. The Commonwealth of Virginia banned all interracial marriages and threatened to exile white men and women who married blacks or Indians. In the 17th century, exile served primarily as a death sentence: lawyers asked the court to carefully consider whether the Virginia law violated the equality clause of the 14th Amendment. If the authors had intended to exclude anti-miscegenation status in the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal protection of the law, they argued that it would have been easy for them to write a sentence excluding interracial marriage, but they did not argue. Cohen argued that the Alabama state legislature stubbornly clung to the old language as a symbolic statement of the state`s views on interracial marriage. As recently as 1998, House leaders were able to block attempts to remove section 102. When voters were finally given the opportunity to suppress the language, the result was surprisingly close: although 59% of voters supported suppressing the language, 41% were in favor of keeping it. Interracial marriage remains controversial in the Deep South, where a 2011 poll found that a majority of Mississippi Republicans still support anti-miscegenation laws.

Since the right to marry is the right to marry the person of one`s choice, a law that prohibits a person from marrying a member of a race other than one`s own limits the scope of one`s choice, thereby limiting one`s right to marry. It is therefore necessary to consider whether the State can restrict this right solely on the basis of race without violating the equal protection of laws clause of the United States Constitution. While most anti-miscegenation laws primarily targeted interracial marriages between whites and blacks or whites and Native Americans, the climate of anti-Asian xenophobia that defined the early decades of the 20th century meant that Asian Americans were also targeted. In this case, the Cable Act retroactively stripped any U.S. citizen who „married an alien who was not eligible for citizenship,“ who married citizenship, which, in the racial quota system of the time, meant primarily Asian Americans. The effects of this law were not only theoretical. Following the decision of the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Because Asian Americans are not white and therefore cannot legally become citizens, the U.S. government revoked the citizenship of U.S.-born Mary Keatinge Das, wife of Pakistani-American activist Taraknath Das, and Emily Chinn, a mother of four and wife of a Chinese-American immigrant. The traces of the anti-Asian immigration law remained until the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. More than a century later, opponents of same-sex marriage would revive the same argument by arguing that heterosexual marriage laws do not discriminate on the basis of sex, as they technically punish men and women equally. After a long and heated discussion, the court voted 4-3 in favor of Perez and Davis and permanently lifted the state`s ban on interracial marriages.

The landmark civil rights ruling declared the country`s ban on interracial marriages unconstitutional. There was a fear among white men at the time that „what black civil rights activists really wanted was not just `equality,` but sex with white women.“ White men who felt entitled to have sex and marital relations with white women feared that intimacy between black men and white women would prevent them from having access to white women. Therefore, they have done much in their power to prevent the union of interracial couples. However, some black women at the time were also opposed to interracial marriage because it „deprived black women of black men who were supposed to be their `natural` partners, thereby weakening the position of black women in the marriage market.“ The idea was that black women could only marry black men. Thus, when black men married white women, there were no more men who could marry black women (Kennedy). Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote the notice for the court; He wrote that marriage is a fundamental civil right and that denying that right on the basis of race „directly undermines the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment“ and seizes „liberty without due process“ from all citizens. Warren pointed out that the 14th Amendment provides for the freedom to marry, regardless of race involved. He said the state could not violate that right, and after that landmark Supreme Court decision, interracial marriage became legal throughout the United States.

Although the couple knew the law, they did not believe the ban would apply to them. Like the well-known jurist R. A. Lenhardt points out that Mexican Americans were still actively discriminated against as a racial minority, regardless of what the law said, and county officials were known to classify a person`s race simply by sight or „instinctive feeling.“ The couple connected through their shared Roman Catholic faith and the relationship deepened. Davis was drafted into the army for a year, but they kept their love alive long-term. When he returned, they started talking about a big church wedding — a traditional religious ceremony with a full Catholic mass to celebrate their love. All they needed was a marriage certificate. From the beginnings of California in 1850 to Perez v.

Sharp in 1948, California always had a law limiting interracial marriages. Over the years, changes were made that narrowed the definition of who could marry a white person. Those who might have defied this law faced serious legal consequences, ranging from fines to jail time to loss of citizenship. Fear of fusion by white men, coupled with fear of a lack of spouses by some black women, led both groups to support these restrictions. This law was enforced by California`s refusal to recognize interracial marriages, especially those between a white woman and a man of color. In any case, this law has done its job by perpetuating segregation and social inequality. But in 1948, Pérez and Davis took advantage of the „relative ease with which the anti-miscegenation regime reigned in California“ (Moran).