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Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 1 decade ago

What is it about Alabama (and the South in general) that made it take so long to finally get rid...?

of interracial marriage ban?

It took them until the year 2000 to get rid of them, and even then a sizeable minority (about 40%) voted to keep them.

Is it because the South is more rural?


In many rural, mostly white counties, the amendment either passed narrowly or was defeated. But in urban centers, such as Jefferson County, it passed overwhelmingly.

The only public opposition to lifting the ban came from a coalition of chapters of the Southern Party in Alabama. A leader of the Confederate heritage group, Michael Chappell of Montgomery, filed a lawsuit that unsuccessfully sought to remove Amendment Two from the ballot.

Chappell said the amendment was vaguely worded and was not needed since interracial couples can now marry in Alabama. At the same time, he added, "Interracial marriage is bad for our Southern culture."

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I'm not from Alabama but I am from the south. I fully support the repeal of the interracial marriage ban, and in general support domestic partnerships: folks should be able to legally join / marry with whatever human they so choose. And I'm an attorney. That's all my disclaimers.

    First of all, when the Supreme Court rendered a decision in Loving vs. Virginia, states could no longer legally ban interracial marriage. This was in the '60's, I believe. States still had these laws on their books, the laws just weren't enforceable. I assume that this is what Chappell meant when he said that interracial couples can now marry in Alabama anyway. So the recent action to repeal this was in effect to make their laws coincide on paper with what the highest law of the land already was. [see the Constitution and Marbury vs Madison about the Supreme Court being the highest law of the land.]

    I found it sad that 40% voted to keep the ban on their books.

    I don't believe it is "because" the south is more rural but a certain amount of isolationism inherently comes with living in the boonies, at least pre-internet. And isolated peoples get their ideas from their media and government, don't they? If the Fourth Estate doesn't take up a 'new' cause, how does the public even hear about it, much less debate it, especially if what is "on the books of laws" of their state? That is public information, easily accessible. So the rural nature can make it easier to control the dissemination of progressive ideas, which in turn makes it easier to perpetuate attitudes of racism, sexism, homophobia and hippiephobia, among other things.

    Racism has many roots, from fear of others perceived to be 'different', to control / domination theories, to economic oppression and some more. Institutional racism is so pervasive - especially in the United States - that, without a personal study of racism along with an attitude and willingness to at least listen to but preferably an attempt to understand the perspective of people of color, isolated areas are subject to perpetuating and promoting old fears and methods of control and propaganda.

    Years ago, I wondered how anyone could call things that did not appear on its face to be a 'racial' issue a racist action, but after years of attempting to better understand this, I've realized that, yes, institutional racism can effect the smallest areas of our lives to the largest even when a person's "race" is not openly at issue. People are denied apartments, told that vacancies were already filled. People are denied jobs and told that some other applicant was more qualified. And these are just easy examples off the top of my head. It is subtle but in the long run it is not only damaging to the people of color experiencing it, it damages the fabric of our nation and undermines the very basic notion of "All people are created equal."

    Source(s): The Constitution of the United States and U.S. Supreme Court case Loving vs. Virginia
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yep. It's what happens when the Democratic Party ran the state unchecked for 120 years. That along with Jim Crow laws, corruption, inefficiency, incestuous relationships with large landowners, terrible schools, regressive taxation and a state constitution that would be the laughingstock of any Latin American country.

    Funny, the vote to lift the interracial ban didn't come up until the Republicans started gaining office. Along with a whole bunch of other wholesale reforms.

  • 1 decade ago

    with the interracial marriage, i guess they believed it would be hard on the children because they wouldn't really know whether they were black or white. and people, all over the country didn't accept them until recent times when it has become more common.

    idk though love is love no matter what color they are.

    and today Alabama isnt even rural. they are extremely educated and NASA is a major employer of the state and they have Redstone Arsenal and do tons of with missile defense and technology in space and the army

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    What is it? Haven't you ever seen pictures from the old south? Ever hear the term lynching? Racial hatred runs deeply in the south. Old beliefs are hard to change when they are handed down generation after generation. We've gotten better as a society on the whole but there are still people in this country who hate people who are not their color or race or religion for that matter. Go figure since we're all supposed to be children of god.

  • 1 decade ago

    because they still hate minorities there?

    why is it taking so long for gay marriage to pass? is it because people hate gay people? yes. in 20 years this question will be asked about homosexuals as well.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Lots of bigots there still.

  • 1 decade ago

    Good to get rid of dumb laws.

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