Family Law


When did the law allow interracial marriages?

In the twentieth century, more and more states allowed interracial marriages. In 1967 the United States Supreme Court ruled in Loving v. Virginia that a Virginia state law banning interracial marriages violated the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment. At the time of the Loving decision, more than a dozen states still had laws banning interracial marriages.

Chief Justice Earl Warren said in Loving:

There is patently no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination which justifies this classification. The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy. We have consistently denied the constitutionality of measures which restrict the rights of citizens on account of race. There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the Equal Protection Clause.

Allowing people of different races to marry did not begin to gain acceptance in the United States until the second half of the twentieth century. Today, it is a common practice (

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