In a call with reporters last week, Indiana Senator Mike Braun was asked if the Loving v. Virginia (1967) decision on interracial marriage should be overturned and left for the states to decide.
Braun responded: “When it comes to issues, you can’t have it both ways. When you want that diversity to shine within our federal system, there are going to be rules and proceedings, they’re going to be out of sync with maybe what other states would do. It’s the beauty of the system, and that’s where the differences among points of view in our 50 states ought to express themselves.”
After dodging the question initially, Braun was asked again.
“Yes,” he replied.
“I think that is something that if you’re not wanting the Supreme Court to weigh in on issues like that, you’re not going to be able to have your cake and eat it too, it’s hypocritical.
We’re better off having states manifest their points of view, rather than homogenizing it across the country as Roe v. Wade did.”
Essentially, he initially said that states should have the power to criminalize marriage between consenting, adult men and women not of the same race.
Of course, the senator later backtracked saying:
“… I misunderstood a line of questioning that ended up being about interracial marriage, let me be clear on that issue – there is no question the Constitution prohibits discrimination of any kind based on race, that is not something that is even up for debate, and I condemn racism in any form, at all levels, and by any states, entities, or individuals.”
2021 Interracial Marriage Poll
So, what do Americans think about Loving vs Virginia (1967), the landmark civil rights decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that laws banning interracial marriage violate the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?
A Gallup poll released in September 2021 suggests 94 percent of Americans approve of marriages between Black people and White people, up from 87 percent in the prior reading from 2013 and a whopping 90 percent since Gallup first posed that question a little over six decades ago.
Yes, per Gallup polling, only 4 percent of Americans approved of interracial marriage in 1958.
After Loving vs Virginia (1967), approval of interracial marriage grew slowly but very consistently every four years the poll was taken. In 1997, those who favored interracial marriage found themselves in the majority for the first time as 64 percent approved, a 16 percent increase from the previous poll in 1993.
Among the races, in the latest Gallup poll, approval among Whites was 93% and Non-Whites 96%. Majorities of non-White adults since 1968 have approved of interracial marriage. It was not until 1997 that a majority of White adults held that opinion.
We’ve surged from 4 to 94 percent in a relatively short time. But, do 94 percent of Americans REALLY approve of interracial marriage?
I have a feeling that number, 94 percent, is a little high. Let’s face it, Donald Trump won 46.9 percent of the vote in the 2020 U.S Presidential Election.
Perhaps some folks think it’s OK in general but would never approve of a relative engaging in an interracial marriage? And maybe some harsh critics of interracial marriage, say they approve of it for fear they’ll be labeled racist or small-minded if they oppose it?
…Looking at you, Sen. Braun.
Regardless, Gallup’s polling shows how far we’ve come since the 1950s. Back then, opposing interracial marriage was the norm. In fact, a lot of people were probably PROUD to publicly bash it. But today, most folks who are against it are probably too ashamed to admit it…
And rightfully so.
Sen. Braun was absolutely right in the retort of his initial statement – the U.S. Constitution EMPHATICALLY prohibits discrimination of any kind based on race. And it’s not even up for debate.
In some ways, America is finally practicing what it’s preached for some 250 years and living up to the standards set forth in the Constitution.
Please share your thoughts below. Do you know people who secretly disapprove of interracial marriage but would never admit it?