Sunday, May 13, 2012

**1691-1967: Legality of Interracial Marriage in Virginia***

Timeline: 1691-1967 
1691: Virginians outlaw interracial marriage.

 1910:The Virginia General Assembly declares that anyone with one-sixteenth or more of "black blood" is black.

1912: The Virginia General Assembly creates the Bureau of Vital Statistics to register all births, deaths, and marriages. Under the direction of Dr. Walter Plecker, the Bureau of Vital Statistics becomes an active agent in policing the color line.

1922: The Anglo-Saxon Clubs of America (ASCOA) is formed in Richmond, Virginia, and begins demanding legislation to prohibit marriage between a white person and anyone who has any amount of non-white heritage.

1924: Virginia passes the Racial Integrity Act, a law aimed at protecting whiteness on the state level. It prohibits interracial marriage, the only exception being a marriage between a white person and a person with less than one-sixteenth Indian blood.
1926:Massenburg-Bill mandates racial segregation at all public assemblies, goes into effect. The law requires "the separation of white and colored persons at public halls, theaters, opera houses, motion picture shows and places of public entertainment and public assemblages."

1930 - The General Assembly passes a law defining Virginia Indians as those possessing one-quarter or more of Indian blood and less than one-sixteenth of black blood. The law also stipulates that such people will be considered black unless they live on a segregated Indian reservation.

1967 - In a unanimous ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, Virginia's anti-miscegenation statutes are struck down and Loving v. Virginia establishes the legal basis for a cultural redefinition of marriage

1967- Loving v. Virginia
-U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws banning interracial marriages in the United States. At one time, as many as forty-one states had such prohibitions. Virginia's law had been passed in 1691 and, after being amended several times, reached its final version in the Racial Integrity Act, passed by the Virginia General Assembly on March 20, 1924. Although every state with such a law banned marriage between a white person and an African American, some laws, including Virginia's, went further and prohibited marriage between whites and other non-white ethnic groups such as Asians and Native Americans. Loving v. Virginia was a landmark case, both in the history of race relations in the United States and in the ongoing political and cultural dispute over the proper definition of marriage.

***1958- Mildred Jeter (Black)&Richard Loving (White) marry in DC (interracial marriage legal) & move to Virginia (illegal)**
Over time, marriages between whites and African Americans became both more numerous and more accepted. Same-sex marriages, meanwhile, became more disputed, with gay rights activists attempting to use Loving v. Virginia as a precedent in their favor. The courts have preferred reading the case strictly in terms of race, although in 2007 the group Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, or GLAD, released a statement that attributed to Mildred Loving support for same-sex marriage. After her death, the Loving family denied that she held these views. Richard Loving died in 1975, and Mildred Loving died in 2008.

June 2, 1958 - Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving are married in Washington, D.C.
July 11, 1958 - Commonwealth's Attorney Bernard Mahon obtains warrants for the arrest of Richard and Mildred Loving.
October 1958 - The Circuit Court of Caroline County issues an indictment against Mildred and Richard Loving stating that they are in violation of the state law that forbids interracial marriage.
January 6, 1959 - Judge Leon Bazile accepts Mildred and Richard Loving's guilty pleas and agrees to suspend their one-year prison sentences on the condition that they leave the state of Virginia and promise not to return as a couple for twenty-five years.
November 1963 - Not content to accept their forced exile from Virginia, Mildred and Richard Loving engage Bernard Cohen, an affiliated attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, to appeal their conviction.
February 11, 1965 - The three-judge District Court allows Mildred and Richard Loving to present their case against the constitutionality of Virginia's anti-miscegenation statutes to Virginia's Supreme Court of Appeals.
March 7, 1966 - Mildred and Richard Loving's appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia is denied.
December 12, 1966 - The Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals upholds the constitutionality of Virginia's anti-miscegenation statutes and affirms the conviction of Mildred and Richard Loving.
April 10, 1967 - U.S. Supreme Court arguments begin in Mildred and Richard Loving's case against the constitutionality of Virginia's anti-miscegenation statutes.
June 12, 1967 - In a unanimous ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, Virginia's anti-miscegenation statutes are struck down and Loving v. Virginia establishes the legal basis for a cultural redefinition of marriage.
June 29, 1975 - Richard Loving dies in a car crash.
June 12, 2007 - On the fortieth anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Loving v. Virginia, the group Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, or GLAD, releases a statement that attributes to Mildred Loving support for same-sex marriage. After her death, the Loving family denies that she held these views.
May 2, 2008 - Mildred Loving dies of pneumonia

1691-Document Written and Published by General Assembly in Virginia (Virginians outlaw interracial marriage)            (terrible grammar)
“WHEREAS many times negroes, mulattoes, and other slaves unlawfully absent themselves from their masters and mistresses service, and lie hid and lurk in obscure places killing hoggs and committing other injuries to the inhabitants of this dominion, for remedy whereof for the future, Be it enacted by their majesties lieutenant governour, councell and burgesses of this present general assembly, and the authoritie thereof, and it is hereby enacted, that in all such cases upon intelligence of any such negroes, mulattoes, or other slaves lying out, two of their majesties justices of the peace of that county, whereof one to be of the quorum, where such negroes, mulattoes or other slave shall be, shall be impowered and commanded, and are hereby impowered and commanded to issue out their warrants directed to the sherrife of the same county to apprehend such negroes, mulattoes, and other slaves, which said sherriffe is hereby likewise required upon all such occasions to raise such and soe many forces from time to time as he shall think convenient and necessary for the effectual apprehending such negroes, mulattoes and other slave, and in case any negroes, mulattoes or other slaves or slaves lying out as aforesaid shall resist, runaway, or refuse to deliver and surrender him or themselves to any person or persons that shall be by lawfull authority employed to apprehend and take such negroes, mulattoes or other slaves that in such cases it shall and may be lawfull for such person and persons to kill and distroy such negroes, mulattoes, and other slave or slaves by gunn or any otherwaise whatsoever.
Provided that where any negroe or mulattoe slave or slaves shall be killed in pursuance of this act, the owner or owners of such negro or mulatto slave shall be paid for such negro or mulatto slave four thousand pounds of tobacco by the publique. And for prevention of that abominable mixture and spurious issue which hereafter may encrease in this dominion, as well by negroes, mulattoes, and Indians intermarrying with English, or other white women, as by their unlawfull accompanying with one another, Be it enacted by the authoritie aforesaid, and it is hereby enacted, that for the time to come, whatsoever English or other white man or woman being free shall intermarry with a negroe, mulatto, or Indian man or woman bond or free shall within three months after such marriage be banished and removed from this dominion forever, and that the justices of each respective countie within this dominion make it their perticular care, that this act be put in effectuall execution.And be it further enacted by the authoritie aforesaid, and it is hereby enacted, That if any English woman being free shall have a bastard child by any negro or mulatto, she pay the sume of fifteen pounds sterling, within one moneth after such bastard child be born, to the Church wardens of the parish where she shall be delivered of such child, and in default of such payment she shall be taken into the possession of the said Church wardens and disposed of for five yeares, and the said fine of fifteen pounds, or whatever the woman shall be disposed of for, shall be paid, one third part to their majesties for and towards the support of the government and the contingent charges thereof, and one other third part to the use of the parish where the offence is committed, and the other third part to the informer, and that such bastard child be bound out as a servant by the said Church wardens untill he or she shall attaine the age of thirty yeares, and in case such English woman that shall have such bastard child be a servant, she shall be sold by the said church wardens, (after her time is expired that she ought by law to serve her master) for five yeares, and the money she shall be sold for divided as is before appointed, and the child to serve as aforesaid.
And forasmuch as great inconveniences may happen to this country by the setting of negroes and mulattoes free, by their either entertaining negro slaves from their masters service, or receiveing stolen goods, or being grown old bringing a charge upon the country; for prevention thereof, Be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, and it is hereby enacted,That no negro or mulatto be after the end of this present session of assembly set free by any person or persons whatsoever, unless such person or persons, their heires, executors or administrators pay for the transportation of such negro or negroes out of the countrey within six moneths after such setting them free, upon penalty of paying of tenn pounds sterling to the Church wardens of the parish where such person shall dwell with, which money, or so much thereof as shall be necessary, the said Church wardens are to cause the said negro or mulatto to be transported out of the countrey, and the remainder of the said money to imploy to the use of the poor of the parish.”

Racial Integrity Laws of the 1920s
            The Racial Integrity Laws, which included the Racial Integrity Act (RIA) of 1924, were a series of legislative efforts designed to protect "whiteness" against what many Virginians perceived to be the effects of immigration and race-mixing. Passed in the context of a national surge in nativism, racism, and sexism, these laws explicitly defined how people should be classified—for example, as white, black, or Indian—and then, through Virginia's newly created Bureau of Vital Statistics under the direction of Dr. Walter Plecker, aggressively policed the distinctions. Elite white Virginians, often belonging to the Anglo-Saxon Clubs of America (ASCOA), worried that their efforts on behalf of white supremacy might be confused with the more violent work of the Ku Klux Klan. As a result, they used the RIA to recast racial bigotry as progressive, scientific social policy. There was some social and political backlash against the laws, but not enough to overturn them until the U.S. Supreme Court's 1967 ruling in Loving v. Virginia, which declared Virginia's ban on interracial marriage to be unconstitutional. Most of Virginia's Indians, meanwhile, had been classified by the RIA as racially black, a designation that continues to be an obstacle for federal tribal recognition.
White Virginians had long been concerned with policing the color line. Virginia outlawed interracial marriage in 1691. In 1705 the colony defined a "mulatto" as "the child of an Indian and the child, grand child, or great grand child, of a negro," and in 1785 the commonwealth clarified that definition to apply to "every person who shall have one-fourth part or more of negro blood." After the American Civil War (1861–1865), a new statute defined a "colored person" as anyone having one-fourth or more of "negro blood" and an Indian as any person having one-fourth or more of Indian blood. In the first years of the twentieth century, with the emergence of scientific racism (the use of purportedly scientific methods to justify racial differences and hierarchies) and its attendant policies of segregation and disfranchisement, white Virginians sought to tighten racial definitions. In 1910, the Virginia General Assembly declared that anyone with one-sixteenth or more "black blood" was black. All other people were legally white.
Such quasi-scientific, genealogical measurements characterized many states' efforts to define race, but the Virginia General Assembly also enlisted the power of the state to enforce such racial categories. In 1912, the General Assembly created the Bureau of Vital Statistics to register all births, deaths, and marriages in the state, and all birth certificates had to state the race of the parents. Under the direction of Dr. Walter Plecker, the Bureau of Vital Statistics became an active agent in policing the color line. By the early 1920s, many white Virginians, including Plecker, believed the 1910 law had failed to defend their prerogatives.
Disdaining the Ku Klux Klan's violent white supremacist policies and tactics, elite white Virginians embraced the scientific racism espoused by the Anglo-Saxon Clubs of America. Founded in Richmond in September 1922 by internationally renowned pianist John Powell, self-styled ethnologist Earnest Sevier Cox, and Plecker, the ASCOA committed itself to preserving white "racial purity." Powell provided the movement's star power and publicity; Cox's book White America (1923) provided the pseudoscientific, eugenic justifications; and Plecker backed the other two with the state's police power. The ASCOA demanded legislation prohibiting interracial marriage and defining anyone with any non-white heritage—even one drop—as black.
The ASCOA's rhetoric decrying race-mixing angered powerful Virginia families that claimed descent fromPocahontas and John Rolfe. Thus, the ASCOA's racial integrity bill was amended to allow the marriage of whites with anyone having less than one-sixteenth Native American blood—a fraction of "Indian" heritage that preserved these families' whiteness. This became known as the "Pocahontas clause." Legislators passed the amended RIA to wide acclaim and Plecker began zealously enforcing the act.
Plecker believed that Virginia's Indians had thoroughly interbred with African Americans, rendering all "modern" Indians—especially those in Amherst and Rockbridge counties—black. Plecker instructed local registrars to affix a warning label to the birth certificates of people claiming Indian heritage; the label stated that the person was "colored" and provided genealogical information. Plecker also ordered registrars to refuse marriage licenses to anyone with any trace of non-white blood attempting to marry a white person. He personally threatened anyone who questioned the system. Plecker's actions prompted lawsuits from people contesting their racial classification and demanding the right to marry.
The first two lawsuits challenging the RIA resulted in opposite decisions, drawing the law's constitutionality into question. The first case upheld the RIA. In the second case, however, the same judge ruled that since there was no discernable trace of non-white blood in either party, the couple should be allowed to marry.
Rather than appeal the ruling, and risk having the RIA declared unconstitutional, the ASCOA sought to tighten the law's racial classifications. Attempted revisions failed in 1926 and 1928, although a law mandating racial segregation at all public assemblages passed in 1926 with ASCOA support. Many whites believed that these measures, combined with Plecker's rigorous policing, unnecessarily inflamed racial tensions. Nevertheless, a threat to segregated public schooling precipitated further legislation.
Since the RIA did not amend the 1910 act defining people with more than one-sixteenth black "blood" as black, individuals with less than one-sixteenth black blood slipped through a legal loophole. According to the RIA, these people were not white enough to marry white people; yet according to the 1910 law they were not black. Therefore, by law, these "colored" people had to attend white schools.
To defend white privilege, the General Assembly passed another racial integrity law in 1930. Under this statute, people with one-quarter Indian blood and less than one-sixteenth black blood were classified as Indians—but only if they lived on a reservation, segregated from whites. Anyone else with even "one drop" of non-white blood was henceforth black—unless exempted by the RIA's "Pocahontas clause." This meant that the Indians of Amherst and Rockbridge counties became black by law.
Virginia's RIA remained in force until the U.S. Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in Loving v. Virginia (1967). Virginia's Monacan Indians have continued to battle their 1924 legislative reclassification as non-Indian, seeking tribal recognition from the federal government.
The case of Loving v. Virginia, Mildred Jeter Loving and Richard Perry Loving, were arrested in July 1958 for violating the terms of the Racial Integrity Act. By law, Jeter was classified as "colored" and Loving as "white." Knowing that they would not be able to marry legally in Virginia, the couple left the state in June 1958 to marry in Washington, D.C., where no such prohibition existed. Virginia's Racial Integrity Act, however, included a section that forbade interracial couples who married outside the state to live in Virginia as husband and wife. In October 1958 the Circuit Court of Caroline County issued an indictment stating that they were in violation of state law. On January 6, 1959, Judge Leon Bazile accepted their guilty pleas but suspended their one-year sentences on the condition that they leave Virginia and promise not to return as a couple for twenty-five years. The Lovings opted to leave and moved to Washington, D.C.
They were not content to accept the situation, however. In 1963 the Lovings engaged Bernard Cohen, an affiliated attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), to appeal their conviction. Soon Cohen was joined in his appeal by attorney Philip Hirschkopf, who had more experience in constitutional law. Judge Bazile denied the appeal, stating thatAlmighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.
The Lovings' appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia was denied in 1966, setting the stage for an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. In that appeal, attorneys Hirshkopf and Cohen were assisted by numerous legal scholars, the national ACLU, and other organizations and law firms. Amicus briefs—statements and information presented on behalf of organizations not directly involved with the case—were filed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Japanese-American Citizen's League, and a consortium of Catholic bishops and other sympathetic organizations. Although sixteen states still had laws banning interracial marriage (Maryland repealed its law in response to the Lovings' Supreme Court case), only North Carolina offered a brief on behalf of Virginia. The Lovings' brief, meanwhile, included legal arguments interspersed with references to sociology and anthropology.
            Perhaps the most dramatic moment in the courtroom came when Cohen quoted Richard Loving as saying, "Mr. Cohen, tell the Court I love my wife, and it is just unfair that I can't live with her in Virginia."
A unanimous ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Virginia's law, stating that to deny the "fundamental freedom" of marriage "on so unsupportable a basis" as race "is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law."
Loving v. Virginia established the legal basis for a cultural redefinition of marriage. 
   (copied from  Encyclopedia Virginia)


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