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View Diary: Nevada conservatives say redefining marriage is something white supremacists would do (46 comments)

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  •  I'm curious... (1+ / 0-)
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    When exactly could blacks marry whites in this country before 1967? Because the only way this argument works is if you can point to a time in American history when we were cool with it before then and all these white supremacists just came in one day and took it away. Otherwise this is an out and out lie. Guess which one is more likely.

    •  well, not exactly cool with it, but (1+ / 0-)
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      there are cases of servants of mixed colors getting it on. Virginia is one place where it happened.

      (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

      by PJEvans on Thu Jan 23, 2014 at 05:41:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually in about half the states it was legal (1+ / 0-)
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      before 1967 (including Hawaii, where President Obama's parents were married). When it became legal depends on the state. Wikipedia says that 7 states never had laws prohibiting it, some others did not have laws in the early colonial period but put them in during the 18th or early 19th century, and by 1887 a total of 18 allowed it.

    •  Up until the Civil War, slaves COULDN'T legally (1+ / 0-)
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      marry anyone, not even each other, because under slavery, slaves were legally considered the same as livestock (except for the fact that they could talk, and their owners could interbreed with them), and no cattle rancher ever had a wedding between one bull and one cow.

      But because of the human need to have a ritual, slaves made up their own informal ceremony -- jumping the broom -- in an attempt to sanctify the matings arranged by their owners to "improve the breed."  Unfortunately, white people's law didn't recognize legal marriages among slaves.  After they were legally freed, they could marry the partners they had been living with under slavery if they wished, but there was no legal barrier to "de facto divorce" by abandonment.

      The few black people who were freed, or who came to the colonies or the States as ALREADY free people, could marry anyone (of the opposite sex of course), but mostly they married those of the same race.  And of course, depending on how passionately one's state defended slavery (and later, Jim Crow), the actual law enforcers may not have BEHAVED as though black and white marriages were legal, regardless of the written law.  When mixed marriages became too frequent to be ignored, the most bigoted states OFFICIALLY banned them.  That way, black husbands of white wives could be charged with fornication, or worse, rape, and put in prison, or lynched.

      So black-white marriages were NEVER considered as "proper" as white-white marriages, and the legalities of black-black marriages were not always enforced to the same extent as white-white marriages, much less the legalities of black-white marriages, until the civil rights laws of the 1960s were in force.

      So, rather than white supremacists "adding on" a special rule to change marriage as traditionally defined, they attempted to "hold on" to an unwritten restriction which, previously, had not had to be enforced by law very often, due to the rarity of its being broken, as times changed and it was broken more and more often.  In other words, by OFFICIALLY banning racially mixed marriages, they were attempting to PREVENT the long time unofficial ban from going away.  And that is more like what the ANTI gay marriage groups have been doing.

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