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And in that opposition is one thing that strongly echoes the segregationist past — an impassioned call for defiance.Cruz suggested that states that were not a party to the case the high court heard were not legally bound to follow the ruling. Technicalities aside, most legal experts are skeptical that judges around the country will choose to ignore the binding case law of a Supreme Court decision.It largely disappeared as a topic for public discussion."Mixed" marriages became less remarkable even though they remained relatively small in number.When the Supreme Court opinion on marriage came down, the language was simple and unequivocal: "The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry...An opinion poll by Pew Research in 2011 showed that 16 percent of white evangelicals still do not approve of interracial marriage, but the number could be much higher. opposition to interracial marriage that much of the white population, both in the North and in the South, brought into the 20th century undoubtedly continues to exert a powerful influence on whites within the church even today," explained J.Daniel Hayes, Ouachita Baptist University's dean of Christian Studies, in a 2009 scholarly article on the Biblical case for interracial marriage.
That does not mean that those who are opposed to it will go quietly.A symbolic debate in the 1990s to finally remove the interracial marriage ban in South Carolina, which had become moot after the Loving decision, was still a matter of controversy, as several lawmakers said the law was rooted in Scripture. Lanny Littlejohn opined, "That's not what God intended when he separated the races back in the Babylonian days." Other legislators agreed, citing one Bible verse or another, though the law was removed.Alabama became the last state to formally repeal its anti-miscegenation law, via public vote in 2000, but 41 percent voted against doing so.Paxton's opinion, which was denounced by gay rights groups and others as political pandering, did not address whether such public employees could make a similar claim of religious infringement if they objected on religious grounds to, say, interracial or interfaith marriages. Rodney Ellis, a Houston Democrat, asked where such reasoning could lead, wondering whether a state district judge could decline to enter a death sentence in a capital case if his religious beliefs opposed it. "There's no religious backing for that," he said when asked whether a clerk could refuse to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple.Conservative politicians, organizations and religious leaders bristled at the comparison when it was brought up last week."Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents," Bazile wrote."The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix." Almost a half century later, the Supreme Court's opinion allowing people of the same sex to legally wed caught few by surprise.At the time, 16 states had laws preventing a white person from taking a spouse of a different race. Even with the civil rights movement in full swing, public opinion polls showed just 20 percent of the American public approved of interracial marriage.That meant no shortage of segregationists who agreed with the opinion of Judge Leon Bazile, who had presided over the trial of Richard and Mildred Loving in Virginia?The question of interracial dating or marriage is rarely asked by pollsters, but if recent polling about same-sex marriage is any indication, social attitudes are undergoing a fundamental shift.About 75 percent of people 18 to 34 express approval of marriage equality gays and lesbians.