Last time North Carolina amended the state Constitution regarding marriage, it prohibited interracial marriage:
That state Constitutional amendment – and all laws in America prohibiting marriage based on race - was repealed by the Supreme Court case of Loving v. Virginia in 1967. The decision of Loving V. Virginia reads, in part, as follows:
These statutes also deprive the Lovings of liberty without due process of law in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. 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.
Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival. [Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942). See also Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190 (1888)]. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed by the State.
Will this issue of marriage – one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men – be taken up by the Supreme Court in our near future? Perhaps.
One can only hope that we live to see an American society free of bigotry, free of hate…. and just plain free.