[Congressional Bills 110th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H. Res. 431 Engrossed in House (EH)]

                In the House of Representatives, U. S.,

                                                         June 11, 2007.
Whereas the first anti-miscegenation law in the United States was enacted in 
        Maryland in 1661;
Whereas miscegenation was typically a felony under State laws prohibiting 
        interracial marriage punishable by imprisonment or hard labor;
Whereas in 1883, the Supreme Court held in Pace v. Alabama that anti-
        miscegenation laws were consistent with the equal protection clause of 
        the 14th Amendment as long as the punishments given to both white and 
        black violators are the same;
Whereas in 1912, a constitutional amendment was proposed in the House of 
        Representatives prohibiting interracial marriage ``between negroes or 
        persons of color and Caucasians'';
Whereas in 1923, the Supreme Court held in Meyer v. Nebraska that the due 
        process clause of the 14th Amendment guarantees the right of an 
        individual ``to marry, establish a home and bring up children'';
Whereas in 1924, Virginia enacted the Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which 
        required that a racial description of every person be recorded at birth 
        and prevented marriage between ``white persons'' and non-white persons;
Whereas in 1948, the California Supreme Court overturned the State's anti-
        miscegenation statutes, thereby becoming the first State high court to 
        declare a ban on interracial marriage unconstitutional and making 
        California the first State to do so in the 20th century;
Whereas the California Supreme Court stated in Perez v. Sharp that ``a member of 
        any of these races may find himself barred from marrying the person of 
        his choice and that person to him may be irreplaceable. Human beings are 
        bereft of worth and dignity by a doctrine that would make them as 
        interchangeable as trains'';
Whereas by 1948, 38 States still forbade interracial marriage, and 6 did so by 
        State constitutional provision;
Whereas in June of 1958, 2 residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia--Mildred 
        Jeter, a black/Native American woman, and Richard Perry Loving, a 
        Caucasian man--were married in Washington, DC;
Whereas upon their return to Virginia, Richard Perry Loving and Mildred Jeter 
        Loving were charged with violating Virginia's anti-miscegenation 
        statutes, a felonious crime;
Whereas the Lovings subsequently pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 1 year in 
        prison, with the sentence suspended for 25 years on condition that the 
        couple leave the State of Virginia;
Whereas Leon Bazile, the trial judge of the case, proclaimed that ``Almighty 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 
Whereas the Lovings moved to the District of Columbia, and in 1963 they began a 
        series of lawsuits challenging their convictions;
Whereas the convictions were upheld by the State courts, including the Supreme 
        Court of Appeals of Virginia;
Whereas the Lovings appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of the United 
        States on the ground that the Virginia anti-miscegenation laws violated 
        the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the 14th Amendment and 
        were therefore unconstitutional;
Whereas in 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to Loving v. Virginia 
        and readily overturned the Lovings' convictions;
Whereas in the unanimous opinion, Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote: ``Marriage is 
        one of the `basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very 
        existence and survival. . . . To deny this fundamental freedom on so 
        unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these 
        statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of 
        equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive 
        all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law.'';
Whereas the opinion also stated that ``the Fourteenth Amendment requires that 
        the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial 
        discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not 
        marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot 
        be infringed by the State.'';
Whereas in 1967, 16 States still had law prohibiting interracial marriage, 
        including Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, 
        Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South 
        Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia;
Whereas Loving v. Virginia struck down the remaining anti-miscegenation laws 
Whereas in 2000, Alabama became the last State to remove its anti-miscegenation 
        laws from its statutes;
Whereas according to the U.S. Census Bureau, from 1970 to 2000 the percentage of 
        interracial marriages has increased from 1 percent of all marriages to 
        more than 5 percent;
Whereas the number of children living in interracial families has quadrupled 
        between 1970 to 2000, going from 900,000 to more than 3 million; and
Whereas June 12th has been proclaimed ``Loving Day'' by cities and towns across 
        the country in commemoration of Loving v. Virginia: Now, therefore, be 
    Resolved,  That the House of Representatives--
            (1) observes the 40th Anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision 
        in Loving v. Virginia; and
            (2) commemorates the legacy of Loving v. Virginia in ending the ban 
        on interracial marriage in the United States and in recognizing that 
        marriage is one of the ``basic civil rights of man'' at the heart of the 
        14th Amendment protections.