Miscegenation of the Races
Michigan lawmakers outlined several criteria regulating marriages. State law prohibited such unions as the basis of polygamy, insanity, and race. Although, whites had strong opinions against interracial marriages, the legislature affirmed the validity of black and white families after the Civil War.
An act to amend section one and to repeal section thirty-two of chapter one hundred and seventy, of the compiled laws of eighteen hundred and seventy- one, being compiler's sections forty-seven hundred and thirty-three, amended, and forty-seven hundred and sixty-four, repealed, relative to divorce. Approved April 11, 1883, Laws of Michigan.
Section 1. The People of the State of Michigan enact, That section one of chapter one hundred and seventy, of the compiled laws of eighteen hundred and seventy-one, being compiler's section four thousand seven hundred and thirty-three, relative to divorce, be and the same is hereby amended so as to read as follows:
Section 1. All marriages which are prohibited by law on account of consanguinity or affinity between the parties, or on account of either of them having a former wife or husband then living, and all marriages solemnized when either of the parties was insane or an idiot, shall, if solemnized within this State, be absolutely void, without any decree of divorce or other legal process: Provided, That the issue of such marriage, except that contracted while either of the parties thereto had a former husband or wife living, shall be deemed legitimate.