Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What's Wrong with This Picture?

Answer: There's nothing wrong with it (other than my absurd hair), because it was taken on September 27, 1980 in the courtyard of Brophy Chapel in Phoenix, Arizona.

However, had it been taken at the same spot twenty years previous, it would have been a picture of a felony in progress, since the bride and groom were of different races. Arizona (like a great many states) had an anti-miscegenation law, which was repealed in 1962.

An interesting sidelight is that, according to a note on this Wikipedia page, "As interpreted by the Supreme Court of Arizona in State v. Pass, 59 Ariz. 16, 121 P.2d 882 (1942), the law prohibited persons of mixed racial heritage from marrying anyone." Now that's a hard-nosed law.


  1. Woah, I didn't know that part of the law. That would be tough for me!

  2. I thought of you and Robin, of course, when I read it. I would love to know what the reasoning was.

    My guess is that they reasoned that a person of mixed race would have to be at least partially of a different race than the person s/he was marrying.

    If you accept the logic behind the law (which is hard for us to do today), then I suppose that reasoning would also make sense.

    As I recall, the law began to break down as soldiers came home from Japan and Korea with Asian wives. After the early fifties, I believe it was no longer enforced, but was still on the books.