LOVING EQUALITY
65
is a matter of nondiscrimination on the basis of sex is a first step toward
the goal of creating that new suspect classification.
II. Jurisprudential Background to
Loving
It seems ironic that Virginia, the state that celebrates the marriage of Poca-
hontas, an Indian princess, and John Rolfe, a white English settler, was the
site of the last attempt to defend anti-miscegenation laws. In fact, Virginia
took special pains in its law to ensure that the descendants of this famous
couple were protected and considered “white.” The law provided that an
individual who has “one-sixteenth or less of the blood of the American In-
dian and have no other non-Caucasic blood shall be deemed to be white
persons.
22
The state had a long history of laws prohibiting co-habitation,
sexual relations, and marriage between individuals of the white race and
nonwhites
.
23
It appears that “mixed” relationships between nonwhites of
different races or ethnicities were not unlawful; it was the “purity” of the
white race that was the concern underlying such laws. The laws criminal-
ized the intermingling of the races, provided that mixed-race children be
indentured until they were adults, and even provided that single-race chil-
dren born of a white woman who later married a man of mixed race could
be removed from her care
.
24
In 1924, Virginia amended its law to define a
white person as an individual “who has no trace whatsoever of any blood
22 Walter Wadlington,
The Loving Case: Virginia’s Anti-Miscegenation Statute in Histori-
cal Perspective
,
,
citing Va. Code Ann §§ 20-54 (now
repealed).
23
Id
. at 1191–95.
24
Id
. at 1199.
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