Noting An Historical Irony on Interracial Marriage


The Pew Research Center has released a new report on trends in interracial marriages in the United States. The Washington Post reports

According to the Pew study, about 15 percent of new marriages in 2010 crossed racial or ethnic lines, double the rate from three decades ago. Intermarriages comprise 8 percent of all marriages now, up from just 3 percent in 1980. And most Americans tell pollsters they are untroubled at the prospect of intermarriage in their own family.

At one point 41 states outlawed interracial marriages. Back in 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in the case Loving v. Virginia that banning interracial marriage violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Virginia judge who had upheld the ban repugnantly argued [PDf]: 

"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."

As a resident of the Commonwealth, I happily note, 45 years after Loving v. Virginia, that the Post reports this wonderful historical irony: 

Virginia leads the nation in the percentage of marriages between blacks and whites….

Go here to see the full Pew report.