Interracial marriage is a form of marriage outside a specific social group exogamy involving spouses who belong to different socially-defined races or racialized ethnicities. Virginia that race-based restrictions on marriages violated the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution. Many jurisdictions have had regulations banning or restricting not just interracial marriage but also interracial sexual relations, including Germany during the Nazi period , South Africa under apartheid , and many states in the United States prior to a Supreme Court decision. Oftentimes, couples in intercultural marriages face barriers that most married couples of the same culture are not exposed to. Intercultural marriages are often influenced by external factors that can create dissonance and disagreement in relationships. When these foundations are operating alongside the foundation of different cultural roots, as in intercultural marriages, problems and disagreement oftentimes occur.
In the United States, anti-miscegenation laws also known as miscegenation laws were state laws passed by individual states to prohibit interracial marriage and interracial sex. Anti-miscegenation laws were a part of American law in some States since before the United States was established and remained so until ruled unconstitutional in by the U. Supreme Court in Loving v. The term miscegenation was first used in , during the American Civil War , by American journalists to discredit the abolitionist movement by stirring up debate over the prospect of interracial marriage after the abolition of slavery. Typically defining miscegenation as a felony , these laws prohibited the solemnization of weddings between persons of different races and prohibited the officiating of such ceremonies. Sometimes, the individuals attempting to marry would not be held guilty of miscegenation itself, but felony charges of adultery or fornication would be brought against them instead.
On July 11, , newlyweds Richard and Mildred Loving were asleep in bed when three armed police officers burst into the room. The couple were hauled from their house and thrown into jail, where Mildred remained for several days, all for the crime of getting married. At that time, 24 states across the country had laws strictly prohibiting marriage between people of different races. Five weeks earlier, the longtime couple had learned Mildred was pregnant and decided to wed in defiance of the law.
These eleven couples, from the United States and beyond, each found their own way of navigating the challenges that interracial couples have faced throughout recent history. Some stories are heroic and others read as cautionary tales. What the couples have in common is a determination to live and love on their own terms. The couple: Frederick Douglass was a former slave who became the leader of the abolitionist movement. She helped Douglass write his autobiography.