Interracial marriage is a form of marriage involving spouses who belong to different races or racialized ethnicities. In the past, such marriages were outlawed in the United States , Nazi Germany and apartheid-era South Africa as miscegenation. In interracial marriage was forbidden by law in 31 USA states. Virginia , which ruled that race-based restrictions on marriages, such as the anti-miscegenation law in the state of Virginia , violated the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution.
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Fifty years ago, the U. Supreme Court ruled miscegenation laws—or laws preventing people of different races and ethnicities from getting married—unconstitutional. Decades later, interracial marriage is now the highest it has ever been in the United States, up 14 percent compared with what it was in when the courts ruled in favor of Richard and Mildred Loving , an interracial couple who were thrown in jail in Virginia for violating the state's rules against multicultural love. Only 3 percent of couples in the country had intermarried at the time of the ruling, but by , 17 percent of newlyweds in the U.
In , the U. Supreme Court ruled in the Loving v. Virginia case that marriage across racial lines was legal throughout the country. Intermarriage has increased steadily since then: One-in-six U. Here are more key findings from Pew Research Center about interracial and interethnic marriage and families on the 50th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision.
Allison Skinner does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. According to the most recent U. More interracial relationships are also appearing in the media — on television , in film and in advertising.