The Last Laws To Go: 1998 and 2000 | Loving Day

The Last Laws To Go: 1998 and 2000

Fri, 05/01/2009 - 8:38am -- lovingday

Incredibly, laws against interracial couples stayed on the books for decades after the Loving decision. In 1998, a clause that prohibited "marriage of a white person with a Negro or mulatto or a person who shall have one-eighth or more Negro blood" was removed South Carolina's state constitution. According to a Mason-Dixon poll four months before the vote, 22% of South Carolina voters were opposed to the removal of this clause. It had been introduced in 1895.

In Alabama, it took until 2000 to remove these laws. A referendum was passed that removed this article from the Alabama State Constitution:

"The Legislature shall never pass any law to authorize or legalize any marriage between any white person and a Negro, or a descendant of a Negro."
Alabama State Constitution, Article IV, Section 102

This section was introduced in 1901. According to a poll conducted by the Mobile Register in September of 2000, 19% of voters said that they would not remove section 102. This is comparable to the 22% in South Carolina. However, 64% said that they would vote to remove it. While this is a majority, it is still far from a unanimous vote.

Because of the Loving decision, these laws were not legally enforceable after June 12th, 1967 - even though they were on the books.