As legislators debate the merits of gay marriage in Maryland and Virginia this week, it seems an appropriate time to review another marriage debate that raged in every state in this country except one since the founding days of the United States.
Mildred and Richard Loving were married during a time when interracial marriages were illegal. They successfully challenged Viriginia's anti-miscegenation law. (File photo by AP)
At one time it was illegal for a white person and a black person to marry in every state in the union save Vermont.
Anti-miscegenation laws were on the books and enforced as the law of the land in 16 states until 1967. Before then, anti-miscegenation laws were slow to fall by the wayside in other states because of deeply rooted centuries-old prejudices and fear of what mix-raced unions would do to the sanctity of marriage in this country. Sound familiar?