American Anti-miscegenation (Anti-Mixed Marriage) Laws

The plots of Tartuffe, Candide and Nathan The Wise all revolve around the freedom of individuals to choose who they will marry, regardless of religion, ethnicity or one's own social standing.  We still argue these issues, and largely along the same lines as those argued in the 18th century.

For example:

The 1967 Supreme Court decision on Loving v. Virginia  made American anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional. Until that point, 16 states, all in the South (see below) had laws banning mixed 'race' marriages.  Note also, however, that many other states had only recently overturned their laws.  (For context: Tom was 4 when these laws were repealed, his own parents nearly 30, and Barack Obama was 6 -- his parents' marriage would have been illegal in 20% of the US states when he was born).

However, the last state to still have anti-miscegenation laws on their its constitution was Alabama, when the law was finally voted off by popular election in November 2000 (year Bush was elected president) where it passed with only 60% of the vote.   Amendment: "Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to abolish the prohibition of interracial marriages."

2000 Election Results

Alabama Amendment 2 (2000)
Yes or no Votes Percentage
Yes 801,725 59.49%
No 545,933 40.51%
Total votes 1,347,658 100% precincts


Anti-miscegenation laws repealed 1948-1967

State First law passed Law repealed Races banned from marrying whites Note
Arizona 1865 1962 Blacks, Asians, Filipinos, Indians Filipinos ("Malays") and Indians ("Hindus") added to list of "races" in 1931
California 1850 1948 Blacks, Asians, Filipinos Anti-miscegenation law overturned by state judiciary in Supreme Court of California case Perez v. Sharp
Colorado 1864 1957 Blacks  
Idaho 1864 1959 Blacks, Native Americans, Asians  
Indiana 1818 1965 Blacks  
Maryland 1692 1967 Blacks, Filipinos Repealed its law in response to the start of the Loving v. Virginia case
Montana 1909 1953 Blacks, Asians  
Nebraska 1855 1963 Blacks, Asians  
Nevada 1861 1959 Blacks, Native Americans, Asians, Filipinos  
North Dakota 1909 1955 Blacks  
Oregon 1862 1951 Blacks, Native Americans, Asians, Native Hawaiians  
South Dakota 1909 1957 Blacks, Asians, Filipinos  
Utah 1852 1963 Blacks, Asians, Filipinos  
Wyoming 1913 1965 Blacks, Asians, Filipinos  

Anti-miscegenation laws overturned on 12 June 1967 by Loving v. Virginia

State First law passed Races banned from marrying whites Note
Alabama 1822 Blacks Repealed during Reconstruction, law later reinstated
Arkansas 1838 Blacks Repealed during Reconstruction, law later reinstated
Delaware 1721 Blacks  
Florida 1832 Blacks Repealed during Reconstruction, law later reinstated
Georgia 1750 All non-whites  
Kentucky 1792 Blacks  
Louisiana 1724 Blacks Repealed during Reconstruction, law later reinstated
Mississippi 1822 Blacks, Asians Repealed during Reconstruction, law later reinstated
Missouri 1835 Blacks, Asians  
North Carolina 1715 Blacks, Native Americans  
Oklahoma 1897 Blacks  
South Carolina 1717 All non-whites Repealed during Reconstruction, law later reinstated
Tennessee 1741 Blacks, Native Americans  
Texas 1837 Blacks, Filipinos  
Virginia 1691 All non-whites Previous anti-miscegenation law made more severe by Racial Integrity Act of 1924
West Virginia 1863 Blacks