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Unformatted text preview: Final Exam Paper 1. Loving v. Virginia and Lawrence v. Texas were both landmark cases that addressed the issues of interracial marriage and sodomy law, which hold to this day very polarized views and strong support on both ends of the spectrum. The definition of a marriage and what constitutes a family was reconsidered by society after the decision of Loving v. Virgin. Lawrence v. Texas held that intimate consensual sexual conduct was part of the liberty protected by substantive due process under the Fourteenth Amendment. Lawrence has the effect of invalidating similar laws throughout the United States that purport to criminalize homosexual activity between consenting adults acting in private. It may also invalidate the application of sodomy laws to heterosexual sex based solely on morality concerns. Both cases brought to the spotlight many of the social norms that society had. Richard (White) and Mildred (Black) Loving decided to get married in 1958 in Washington D.C. Although they lived in Virginia, their home state had an anti-miscegenation law, which clearly indicated that interracial marriages were illegal. After they married, they lived together in Virginia, but soon after the marriage, in 1959, they were prosecuted and convicted of violating the law. The trial Judge was quoted as saying Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents . On June 12, 1967, the nation's highest court voted unanimously to overturn the conviction of Richard and Mildred Loving, a young interracial couple from rural Caroline County, Va. Since that ruling 40 years ago, interracial marriage has become more common, but remains relatively rare. Sociologists estimate that 7 percent of the nation's 59 million marriages are mixed-race couplings. And even now, interracial marriage remains a source of quiet debate over questions of identity, assimilation and acceptance. Modern day religious and political leaders cite the union between men as ungodly and unnatural, much the same as the 1967 argument against interracial couples. The basis of the Virginia court for upholding the anti-interracial marriage statute declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia , was that the state had an interest in preserving the racial integrity of its citizens, and thereby "preventing the creation of 'a mongrel breed of citizens,' and 'the obliteration of racial pride.'" Just as many people once found trans-racial marriage to be a loathsome potentiality well-worth prohibiting, so, too, do many people find same-sex marriage to be an abomination. This frightened, reflexive reaction will likely dissipate in many of the same way that antipathy to the idea of trans-racial marriage has dissipated. If Loving is any guide, proponents of same-sex marriage should not look to the Supreme Court for leadership, but should instead seek to persuade people on the grounds of the decency of their position. When the task has largely been done, the Court will come along to offer confirmation. task has largely been done, the Court will come along to offer confirmation....
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- Fall '07