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Iowa Couples Share Experiences, 50 Years After Supreme Court Ruling on Interracial Marriage

Courtesy of Debby and Bill Marine
Debby and Bill Marine of Lake City, Iowa, hiking the California desert this March.

50 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court declared state laws against interracial marriage unconstitutional. Until this ruling, intermarriage was forbidden in many states.

Iowa became the second state to legalize interracial marriage a century before the rest of America, back in 1851.

When the Supreme Court finally banned laws against interracial marriage in all states, just three percent of newlyweds were intermarried. Since then, that number has increased fivefold. Today, one in six new marriages is mixed race.

On this edition of River to River, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, law professor and author of According to Our Hearts: Rhinelander v. Rhinelander and the Law of the Multiracial Family, talks about the details of the historic case, Loving v. Virginia. Also, Ben Kieffer talks with interracial couples in Iowa today to find out what challenges they still face.

Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River