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Massachusetts becomes the second state to repeal its anti-miscegenation law, further cementing the distinction between northern and southern states on slavery and civil rights. The punishment of each offending person, whether white or black, is the same." More than a century later, opponents of same-sex marriage will resurrect the same argument in claiming that heterosexual-only marriage laws don't discriminate on the basis of sex since they technically punish men and women on equal terms.
The original 1705 ban, the third such law following those of Maryland and Virginia, prohibited both marriage and sexual relations between people of color (specifically, African Americans and American Indians) and whites. "That intermarriage between negroes or persons of color and Caucasians or any other character of persons within the United States or any territory under their jurisdiction, is forever prohibited; and the term 'negro or person of color,' as here employed, shall be held to mean any and all persons of African descent or having any trace of African or negro blood." Later theories of physical anthropology will suggest that every human being has some African ancestry, which could have rendered this amendment unenforceable had it passed. While most anti-miscegenation laws primarily targeted interracial marriages between whites and African Americans or whites and American Indians, the climate of anti-Asian xenophobia that defined the early decades of the 20th century meant that Asian Americans were also targeted.
Centuries before the same-sex marriage movement, the U. government, its constituent states, and their colonial predecessors tackled the controversial issue of "miscegenation": race-mixing. "[F]orasmuch as diverse freeborn English women forgetful of their free condition and to the disgrace of our Nation do intermarry with Negro slaves by which also diverse suits may arise touching the [children] of such women and a great damage doth befall the Masters of such Negroes for prevention whereof for deterring such freeborn women from such shameful matches,"Be it further enacted by the authority advice and consent aforesaid that whatsoever freeborn woman shall intermarry with any slave from and after the last day of this present Assembly shall serve the master of such slave during the life of her husband, and that the [children] of such freeborn women so married shall be slaves as their fathers were. Equality of protection under the laws implies not only accessibility by each one, whatever his race, on the same terms with others to the courts of the country for the security of his person and property, but that in the administration of criminal justice he shall not be subjected, for the same offense, to any greater or different punishment..."The defect in the argument of counsel consists in his assumption that any discrimination is made by the laws of Alabama in the punishment provided for the offense for which the plaintiff in error was indicted when committed by a person of the African race and when committed by a white person...
When voters finally had the opportunity to remove the language, the outcome was surprisingly close: although 59 percent of voters supported removing the language, 41 percent favored keeping it.
The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations.
Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State." By November 2000, interracial marriage had been legal in every state for more than three decades thanks to the U. Supreme Court's ruling in (1967)—but the Alabama State Constitution still contained an unenforceable ban in Section 102: The Alabama State Legislature stubbornly clung to the old language as a symbolic statement of the state's views on interracial marriage.
And in 1705, Virginia expanded the policy to impose massive fines on any minister who performs a marriage between a person of color and a white person—with half the amount (ten thousand pounds) to be paid to the informant. Indeed, the offense against which this latter section is aimed cannot be committed without involving the persons of both races in the same punishment.
Pennsylvania, which had passed a law banning interracial marriage in 1725, repeals it as part of a series of reforms intended to gradually abolish slavery within the state and grant free blacks equal legal status. constitutional amendment banning all marriage between whites and people of color in every state throughout the country. Whatever discrimination is made in the punishment prescribed in the two sections is directed against the offense designated and not against the person of any particular color or race.