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Laws banning "race-mixing" were enforced in Nazi Germany (the Nuremberg Laws) from 1935 until 1945, in certain U.S. states from the Colonial era until 1967 and in South Africa during the early part of the Apartheid era. All these laws primarily banned marriage between spouses of different racially or ethnically defined groups, which was termed "amalgamation" or "miscegenation" in the U.S. The laws in Nazi Germany and many of the U.S. states, as well as South Africa, also banned sexual relations between such individuals.

In the United States, the various state laws prohibited the marriage of whites and blacks, and in many states also the intermarriage of whites with Native Americans or Asians.[8] In the U.S., such laws were known as anti-miscegenation laws. From 1913 until 1948, 30 out of the then 48 states enforced such laws.[9] Although an "Anti-Miscegenation Amendment" to the United States Constitution was proposed in 1871, in 1912–1913, and in 1928,[10][11] no nation-wide law against racially mixed marriages was ever enacted. In 1967, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Loving v. Virginia that anti-miscegenation laws are unconstitutional. With this ruling, these laws were no longer in effect in the remaining 16 states that still had them.

The laws in U.S. states were established to maintain "racial purity" and white supremacy. Such laws were passed in South Africa because of fears that the white minority would be "bred-out" by the black majority.

The Nazi ban on interracial marriage and interracial sex was enacted in September 1935 as part of the Nuremberg Laws, the Gesetz zum Schutze des deutschen Blutes und der deutschen Ehre (The Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour). The Nuremberg Laws classified Jews as a race, and forbade marriage and extramarital sexual relations between persons of Jewish origin and persons of "German or related blood". Such intercourse was condemned as Rassenschande (lit. "race-disgrace") and could be punished by imprisonment (usually followed by deportation to a concentration camp) and even by death.

The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act in South Africa, enacted in 1949, banned intermarriage between different racial groups, including between whites and non-whites. The Immorality Act, enacted in 1950, also made it a criminal offense for a white person to have any sexual relations with a person of a different race. Both laws were repealed in 1985.

History of ethnoracial admixture and attitudes towards miscegenation


Africa has a long history of interracial mixing with Arabs and later European men having sexual relations with black African women as well as taking them as wives.[citation needed] Arabs played a big role in the African slave trade and unlike the trans-atlantic trade most of the black African slaves in the Arab slave trade were women. Most of them were used as sexual slaves by the Arab men and some were even taken as wives.[12]

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