Whites were not permitted to marry non-whites, and all other minorities were restricted to marrying within each of their individual racial groups.
But the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1967 anti-miscegenation laws changed all this in 16 states. Today, according to a Pew Research report entitled The Rise of Intermarriage, “about 15% of all new marriages in the United States in 2010 were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity from one another.”
How do Americans feel about this?
That depends on whom you ask. And which part of the country you’re in.
Says Pew official and editor of the report, Paul Taylor, “Minorities, younger adults, the college-educated, liberals, and those who live in the Northeast or the West are more disposed than others to see intermarriage in a positive light.”
A Wall Street Journal report puts Hawaii at the top of the list for the highest intermarriage rate of any state; nearly 5 out of 10 marriages in Hawaii are mixed. Conversely, Vermont has the lowest rate at 4%.
Kristine Smith, a Filipino-American from California, married Alex, a Caucasian, in 2008. “I never thought of limiting myself to marrying another Filipino or Filipino-American,” she says. “I have friends who are everything.”
Even so, this justice of the peace refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple just last year.
Though he attempts to dance around the issue in the video, Louisiana Judge Keith Bardwell has made pointed statements about his view of “mixing races.”
“I’m not a racist. I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way,” Bardwell told the Associated Press last year. “I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home…they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else.”
How do you feel about interracial marriage?
Is it commonplace where you live?