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A Word on Marriage

January 12, 2010

In 1882, the Alabama Supreme court upheld the constitutionality of an anti-miscegenation law. In part, the opinion stated that procreation is worst

 when committed between persons of the two races … Its result may be the amalgamation of the two races, producing a mongrel population and a degraded civilization, the prevention of which is dictated by a sound policy affecting the highest interests of society and government.

When Pace argued that the prohibition of interracial marriage violated the 14th Amendment,  the court ruled that a state’s ability to prevent interracial marriage was not bound by equal protection.   Appealing to the Supreme Court was fruitless, too.  They claimed that interracial couples were necessarily so “heterogeneous that they must  naturally cause discord shame, disruption of family circles and estrangement.”

Anti-miscegenation laws persisted until the 1967  case Loving v. Virginia in which the court unanimously accepted the same 14th Amendment argument that Alabama rejected in Pace.

Fifty-two years ago, Gallup began to poll Americans if they approved of interracial marriage. 94% of whites said no.   The year after Loving, it was still 73%.

Only the most shameless racists would look at the language from Pace or the stats above and think that our departure from those days is evidence of our nation’s decline.

Frankly, it was not the white conservative Christians who spearheaded the move to all0w interracial marriage.  It seems unlikely to me that the makeup of Alabama’s or America’s supreme courts in the 1880s was anything but homogeneous.

So next time you hear a white conservative Christian talking about how homosexual marriage degrades the institution, ask yourself whether he or she would have been part of the 4% of Americans who supported interracial marriage in 1958.   When they spout ceaselessly about the unbroken history of marriage between a man and a woman, remind them that they’re glossing over the majority of America’s history when marriage was between one white man and one white woman or one black man and one black woman.

I wish I could resurrect the members of the courts that wrote such terrible things about interracial children just so I could watch them grimace as they learned that one of those degraded mongrels is commander in chief.

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