Interracial dating alabama

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While the attention of the national electorate may be focused on the presidential campaign, voters in Alabama are being asked to go to the polling stations on election day to remove from their constitution a ban on inter-racial marriage, dating from the slavery era. Alabama is the last state to have such a clause on its statute books, and the campaign to remove it is generating both anger and embarrassment.

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A local radio station held an on-air inter-racial marriage to highlight the issue, and civil rights and Confederate heritage groups have clashed over the vote. Section of the state constitution says: "The legislature shall never pass any law to authorise or legalise any marriage between any white person and a Negro or descendant of a Negro.

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Legislators seeking to update the constitution's arcane language came across the clause, and although constitutional lawyers say it no longer has legal force, its existence is an embarrassment to those who have put the issue on the ballot. Alvin Holmes, the Democratic congressman leading the campaign, said it would be a "black mark" if the proposition was not passed. A spokeswoman for the station said the listeners' response has been largely positive.

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The campaign against the change is led by Mike Chappell of the Confederate Heritage political action committee in Montgomery. He said that about a third of the state was opposed to inter-racial marriage and the issue had enabled him to reach and activate a large pro-Confederacy constituency which he hoped would become active in other campaigns.

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I personally do not believe in inter-racial marriage and I've taught that to my kids, but today's kids will call you a racist because you say that. Mr Chappell said his campaign was "non-emotional and non-violent" and that he was an admirer of Martin Luther King's non-violent philosophy.

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World news. Alabama votes on removing its ban on mixed marriages.

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Special report: the US elections. Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles.

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