Interracial couples now make up 8.4 percent of all marriages in in America, double the number in 1980, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center. In 2010, 15 percent of all new marriages in America were between spouses of a different race or ethnicity. In 1980, the rate was just 3.2 percent.
The statistics indicate that Americans’ tolerance for mixed-race couples is growing, too, especially among young people and those who live in the West and Northeast part of the country.
Earlier this week, HBO premiered “The Loving Story,” a documentary film about the Virginia couple who are the namesake of the landmark 1967 Supreme Court decision. Richard Loving is white and Mildred Loving is black. Virginia’s “Racial Integrity Act of 1924, forbade them from marrying in their home state, so they wed in Washington, D.C. When the couple returned to their rural home in Virginia, police raided their home in the middle of the night and arrested them.
During the Supreme Court hearing, when asked by his lawyer if he had
anything to say, Richard Loving reportedly told the justices, “Tell the court I
love my wife, and it’s just unfair that I can’t live with her in
Virginia.” Here is the full text of the court’s decision: