Thursday, April 23, 2009

Anti-Miscegenation Laws: A Precursor to Gay Marriage Bans?

So I was thinking about this map of the future of gay marriage, and wondering about what sort of precedents there might be in American social history for the sort of change involved in allowing gay couples to marry. And the best parallel to the legalization of gay marriage I can think of is the repeal of anti-miscegenation laws. Here's a map of the history of the repeal of anti-miscegenation laws.



There are obviously a ton of differences between the social acceptance of interracial marriages and the social acceptance of same-sex marriages. For one thing, the history of relations between races varies considerably between different regions of the country. But the basic shift in perceptions that undergird both expansions of social acceptance is pretty much the same: in both cases, the institution of marriage expands to include relationships that had once been seen as taboo. And the maps of the repeal of anti-miscegenation laws and the predicted failure of gay marriage bans (shown below) show a lot of correlation. In both cases, the socially progressive view takes hold first in the Northeast, and the South is the last holdout. In fact, every single state in the South continued to ban inter-racial marriage until the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in the case of Loving v. Virginia in 1967. It wouldn't surprise me terribly if a lot of Southern states continue to hold out against same-sex marriage until a comparable future Supreme Court decision.

But there are differences, too. The Western states - hypothetical early adopters of the legalization of gay marriage - were relatively slow to sanction interracial marriage. And the Midwest, especially the "prairie populism" states of the Upper Midwest, were early in sanctioning interracial marriage, but are predicted to be slower on the same-sex marriage front. (Of course, Iowa has already become the fourth state to legalize gay marriage - before any Western state - so history may yet repeat itself.)

And, of course, the time scales are radically different: it took nearly 200 years between the first state ban on interracial marriage to be lifted (Pennsylvania, in 1780) and the Supreme Court decision that ended such bans once and for all. And the progress was very fitful. After Pennsylvania, no marriage ban was lifted until 1843; 44 years later, ever Northern Union state other than Indiana had lifted their bans. But then - nothing, literally for generations. The post-Reconstruction period of racist retrenchment, aka Jim Crow, saw a total lack of progress in the states on interracial marriage. It wasn't until the modern Civil Rights era that interracial marriage bans again started to be overturned. And even by the time of the Loving decision, the country was still deeply bifurcated: every single non-Southern or border state had repealed their marriage bans, and every single Southern state still had a ban on the books.

Are there lessons to be drawn here about the future of same-sex marriage? One would seem to be that progressive change is not inexorable; or if it is, it can still be delayed by quite a lot, as the 1887 to 1948 lacuna in repealing marriage bans shows. And, though the generational divide on gay marriage is really stark, according to polls like this one, which found that 41% of people under 45 support same-sex marriage, as opposed to 18% of people over 65, even young people are only split on the issue, so it would seem wrong to view the inexorable spread of marriage equality as a fait accompli.

Nonetheless, I think there are good reasons to think that an outcome in which same-sex marriage becomes broadly accepted within a generation is likely. In particular, that same poll shows 60-35% support for either same-sex marriage or civil unions. That seems to suggest that, despite some lingering apprehension about what some people see as a re-definition of marriage, there is broad support for the principle of equality for gay couples. There's no reason to expect that support to reverse itself. The taboo on gay relationships is on the way out the door, and I can't help but think that it's only a matter of time before the law reflects this reality.

Here, by the way, are the dates when anti-miscegenation laws were repealed, according to Wikipedia.

Pennsylvania - 1780
Massachusetts - 1843
Iowa - 1851
Kansas - 1859
New Mexico - 1866
Washington - 1868
Illinois - 1874
Rhode Island - 1881
Maine - 1883
Michigan - 1883
Ohio - 1887

California - 1948
Oregon - 1951
Montana - 1953
North Dakota - 1955
Colorado - 1957
South Dakota - 1957
Idaho - 1959
Nevada - 1959
Arizona - 1962
Nebraska - 1963
Utah - 1963
Indiana - 1965
Wyoming - 1965
Maryland - 1967

Alabama - June 12, 1967
Arkansas - June 12, 1967
Delaware - June 12, 1967
Florida - June 12, 1967
Georgia - June 12, 1967
Kentucky - June 12, 1967
Louisiana - June 12, 1967
Mississippi - June 12, 1967
Missouri - June 12, 1967
North Carolina - June 12, 1967
Oklahome - June 12, 1967
South Carolina - June 12, 1967
Tennessee - June 12, 1967
Texas - June 12, 1967
Virginia - June 12, 1967
West Virginia - June 12, 1967

46 comments:

Chris said...

Good article, but very poor map of the repeal of anti-miscegenation laws. Firstly the colours for 1865-1887 and 1948-1959 are indiscernible. Secondly the use of jpg makes the map unnecessarily blurry, use png. Finally the map should have used the same 5 time periods mentioned in the article: never enacted, 1780, 1843-1887, 1948-1967 and June 12, 1967.

Anonymous said...

You must not consider Maryland southern, although some do.

Christine said...

I do know that Massachusetts has a law from the 1910s that says that couples from other states can only get married there if their state will recognize their marriage. They didn't want interracial couples from certain other states to get married there and then expect their home state to recognize the union. So when MA allowed gay marriages in 2005, it couldn't be a haven for gay couples from all over to get married.

Joanna said...

There is a good interactive map of anti-miscegenation laws here: http://lovingday.org/map.htm

Chachy said...

Chris - I did my best to make the colors stand out as much as possible. Beyond that, I'm just sort of figuring out a good method for making these sorts of maps; any advice is welcome.

As for the date ranges, I chose them to resonate with significant time periods in the history of race relations in the US as best I could. So the periods indicated are, roughly, pre-Civil War/Emancipation; post-Civil War 19th Century (including Reconstruction); and then early and late adopters during the mid-20th Centuury Civil Rights era (with a more or less arbitrary cutoff between the two). And then, of course, the date of Loving v. Virginia. I think those date ranges make intuitive sense for this particular data set, though arguably Pennsylvanis does belong in its own category.

Anon - I sort of think of Maryland as a once-southern state that is now, for all intents and purposes, northern. But for the purposes of this post, I consider it a border state.

Christine - That's interesting. Has anyone bothered trying to change that law?

Anonymous said...

The law in Massachusetts was rescinded by the legislature last year by a sizeable margin. Gays from any state can now marry in the Bay State.

Anonymous said...

I've been looking for information on a racial break-down of repealed miscegenation laws. I know that there were on the books laws forbidding interracial marriages between native Americans, Asians, Hispanic etal. All the info I've seen so far has dealt with Black and White marriages. Anything on the other colours?

Anonymous said...

Article in The New Yorker, Jan.18, 2010 edition stated South Carolina and Alabama didn't overturn anti-miscegenation laws until 1998 and 2000, respectively. I trust this source more than I do wikipedia.

before marriage said...

"Anti-Miscegenation Laws: A Precursor to Gay Marriage Bans?", is a very good post, thanks for sharing this information!

tn requin said...

sleeping bag
tablecloth
travel luggage
car gps
car parts
GPS navigation
portable GPS
lcd tv
flat tv
digital picture frames
unlocked cell phones
wedding dresses
wedding jewelry
chaussures mode
chaussures Femmes
women's shoes
round tablecloth
discount handbags
chaussures sport
chaussures pas cher
fashion bedding
id lanyard
lanyard
creative gadgets
gift ideas
kids wall stickers
wall stickers
bath curtains
kitchen faucet
bathroom faucet

Maria said...

I did my best to make the colors stand out as much as possible. Beyond that, I'm just sort of figuring out a good method for making these sorts of maps; any advice is welcome.


cheap perfume
Burberrys perfume
dolce & gabbana perfume
Estee lauder sensuous perfume
euphoria perfume
guess perfume

CARA BERIKLAN DI INTERNET said...

This is the perfect blog for anyone who wants to know about this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really would want...HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

Stop Korupsi Dan Suap Di Indonesia | Stop Korupsi Dan Suap Di Indonesia | Stop Korupsi Dan Suap Di Indonesia | Stop Korupsi Dan Suap Di Indonesia | CARA BERIKLAN DI INTERNET | Stop Korupsi Dan Suap Di Indonesia

Penis Enlargement Pills said...

I am thoroughly convinced in this said post. I am currently searching for ways in which I could enhance my knowledge in this said topic you have posted here. It does help me a lot knowing that you have shared this information here freely. I love the way the people here interact and shared their opinions too. I would love to track your future posts pertaining to the said topic we are able to read.

denne said...

A useful map but perhaps misleading in one regard. All the southern states listed as repealing their anti-miscegenation laws in 1967 did not actually do so. The federal case of Loving vs. Virginia, decided in 1967, superseded state laws and effectively put an end to anti-miscegenation laws in the US however many states did not actually take the statutes off their books until much later. For example Mississippi maintained its anti-miscegenation legislation into the 1980's. For the question that you're addressing a more interesting map would be the dates when the state legislatures themselves bothered to repeal their own laws.

Anonymous said...

I like your shared ideas.
Online Muslim Matrimonials
Chiropractor Oak Brook

nisioi_cosmin said...

There are actually plenty of particulars like that to take into consideration. That may be a nice point to convey up. I provide the ideas above as common inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where an important thing can be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged round things like that, however I am positive that your job is clearly identified as a good game. Each boys and girls really feel the affect of just a second’s pleasure, for the remainder of their lives.
Remixuri 2011

Mango Chat said...

this is a nice blog with a informative content in it

Cerita Seks said...

Good article, but very poor map of the repeal of anti-miscegenation laws. Firstly the colours for 1865-1887 and 1948-1959 are indiscernible. Cerita Seks, Cerita Dewasa

Panas
, Cewek Bugil, Cewek Indo Bugil,

Foto Cewek Bugil, Foto Gadis SMA, Memek Cewek, Cerita Dewasa, Cerita Dewasa Terbaru

konsultan perusahaan said...

I think people fear idea management and innovation because there's a significant number of ideas that simply won't plan out.......Nice statement.....keep posting

belajar internet marketing said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.

parcel lebaran said...

I think that this post is one of the best that i have read in my life, congrats you did a great job,.

delayed orgasm said...

the difference between the content spammers and most corporate innovators is that the smaller

how to avoid premature ejaculation said...

I'm writing to you because I just came across a business that I think has great potential. It lets you save money on almost everything. Make money from almost everything,

konsultan seo said...

If growth is important to a firm, and if growth is dependent on offering existing products and services to new customers

tabungan pendidikan said...

innovation is very natural and happens in the "real world" as new plants and animals colonize new ecological niches.

mengecilkan perut said...

I wonder how you got so good. This is really a fascinating blog, lots of stuff that I can get into. One thing I just want to say is that your Blog is so perfect

how to teach dogs tricks said...

We generally think most specifically about the risk associated with a new product introduction

easy way to get pregnant said...

I would be aware that as somebody who really doesn’t comment to blogs a lot (in actual fact, this may be my first put up), I don’t think the time period “lurker” is very flattering to a non-posting reader.

Anonymous said...

phone number lookup

www.inmobiliaria.cn said...

Really worthwhile data, much thanks for the post.

hcg said...

Nice to read your blog on this website. different experience to read this blog. i get some awesome information throw this article.

Cerita Seks said...

Nice information, cerita seks or you can go at cerita sex

Anonymous said...

reverse cell phone lookup

reverse address lookup

cell phone directory

phone number search

free people search

criminal background check

reverse phone lookup

reverse phone lookup

felicity said...

I look forward to another article. It would be nice to have, too.
stop pre ejaculation
home treatments for hemorrhoids
easy online business
No.1 Natural Cure From Japan
Proven Natural Cure For Eyes

albumfoto said...

this day I've been searching for information on various issues, this I found very good and I would like to congratulate you for your work.

asuransi pendidikan said...

I think people fear idea management and innovation because there's a significant number of ideas that simply won't plan out.......Nice statement.....keep posting

perusahan security said...

I think that this post is one of the best that i have read in my life, congrats you did a great job,.

design interior jakarta said...

the difference between the content spammers and most corporate innovators is that the smaller

jual wine said...

I'm writing to you because I just came across a business that I think has great potential. It lets you save money on almost everything. Make money from almost everything,

coklat valentine said...

If growth is important to a firm, and if growth is dependent on offering existing products and services to new customers

kuliner bandung said...

innovation is very natural and happens in the "real world" as new plants and animals colonize new ecological niches.

belajar internet marketing said...

I wonder how you got so good. This is really a fascinating blog, lots of stuff that I can get into. One thing I just want to say is that your Blog is so perfect

konsultan perusahaan said...

We generally think most specifically about the risk associated with a new product introduction

how to stay erect said...

I would be aware that as somebody who really doesn’t comment to blogs a lot (in actual fact, this may be my first put up), I don’t think the time period “lurker” is very flattering to a non-posting reader.

viagra online said...

I wonder why gay people want to get married... is better to live like a couple without papers and when you want to separate, you don't need papers...

Madalyn said...

There's no doubt, the dude is absolutely right.