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questioned about race when applying for marriage liscence

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
we are both caucasian but my hubby has exotic feature.(his family doesnt know what their ethnic background is) when we went to get registered to marry they asked what race he was but not me. first off what difference does it make? has any bi-racial couples experianced this when they applied to get married? how did you handle it? also here is a pic of my hubby, what would you guess he is mixed with? i guessed native american or mediterranian. he also gets mistaken for arab or cuban.



http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2w685n4&s=4

http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=ekibkj&s=4
post #2 of 30
I cannot believe that they asked the race of your husband. Is there a place on the marriage application for race? If not, than I would have asked why did they need to know his race.

From the pictures, your dh looks like he could have Hispanic mix.
post #3 of 30
NICE TATS!!!
Yea, thats weird that they asked. People are rude.
post #4 of 30
nak
when DH and I applied we were both asked and DH is very obviously white.
post #5 of 30
it might depend upon the state in which you get married.

we got married in vermont (though we were not from there nor did we live there) and we were asked by the city clerk. since i'm 1/2 asian, i told her that i was asian and caucasian.

she told me that she could only put one down and that i had to choose, and that she very rarely has this "problem". i thought that was kind of stupid, and that it was awfully antiquated.

your hubby does look like he's of mixed ancestral heritage, he very much has that mediterranean look and skin tone that can pass for many different ethnicities. and i agree, nice tats!!
post #6 of 30
A friend of mine is married to a man who was adopted and he didn't know what background he was. Everyone would usually guess he was part african-american or middle eastern or mediterranean. He got some kind of DNA test over the internet for $150 and found out he was Aboriginal! From Australia! That's something no one had ever guessed or dreamed.

I looked at the pics and I have no idea about yours... maybe a little bit Hispanic looking?
post #7 of 30
Nice fish!

I was actually surprised that they didn't ask, considering where we live tends to be a little, uh, behind the times. I was all ready with my "what difference does it make...we're in love!" rant. No dice.
post #8 of 30
just wanted to make a guess as well

My guess is caucasian mixed with african and indian (from india) His eyes remind me of the Guyanese that I have met here in the Caribbean and they are mixed African and Indian so that's the basis of my guess.

I have started declining answering race questions. On DS birth certificate they put white for both myself and DH without asking- I had to tell them that his Father was not white. So they changed it to 'Black'.
post #9 of 30
We had to put our "ethnicities" on our marriage license. This was in New Hampshire. Like kidspiration, they just wanted one for each of us. So we specified "American". Town clerk didn't like that. I said, "My great-great-great-great-great-grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War. If that doesn't make me 'American' I don't know what else I'd be."
It's not so much to brag but as to point out - I was born in America, my ancestors were born in America, at what point do you stop being "Polish" or "Italian" and start being able to claim being "American"? Come on!

Just my 2 cents.
post #10 of 30
Your husband doesn't look especially "ethnic" in any direction... I think the person was just curious.
post #11 of 30
i respectfully disagree. his eyes are what does it for me.
post #12 of 30
I agree, it's his eyes that make him look different. I don't know what it is, but he doesn't look 100% caucasian to me.

I honestly don't remember if we were asked our race when we were married. Nobody would ever guess us to be anything other than caucasian though.
post #13 of 30
Your husband looks a great deal like a friend of mine (who's Irish and Italian).

I've been asked if I am 'mixed' (black/white) and I am 100% British/Irish/Scottish. With my coloring, nose shape and curly hair, I can see why people would think I'm part African. However you would never think either of my parents were anything but straight European.

Everyone assumes DBF is Jewish (our area has one of the highest populations in America) to the point that strangers ask him about holidays, recipes and where to find synagoges, but he is Roman Catholic and 100% Italian.
post #14 of 30
He doesn't jump out as any particular ethnicity to me, but I think he looks a lot like Ernest (from all those goofy 80's comedy movies).
post #15 of 30
The deep set eyes would make me suspect Native American of some sort, maybe by way of Latin America or the Islands. But most Americans whose families have been here a while are mixed to one degree or another.
My DH is Anglo/Polish/Quebecois and has been mistaken for everything from Mexican to Syrian, often involving someone speaking to him in Spanish or Arabic. He's one of what we joke about as "random brown people", those folks with interesting but undefinable features who fit in lots of places. DD is 5 and I've already been asked if she's Greek, Italian or Hispanic(diferent conversations).
post #16 of 30
*giggles about 'random brown people'*

He's not from Louisiana, is he? He has the vaguely Mediterranean look a lot of Creoles end up with after a few generations of breeding back and forth. No one can tell where our ancestors are from!
post #17 of 30
I wonder if maybe they just record it for statistics or something ?

I remember it was on our marriage license application, but it was just boxes to check. And it seems like there is usually an "other" box....so I would think anyone who doesn't know, or is mixed and doesn't want to specify one race, can choose "other". I used to work with a caucasian lady married to an African-American man and she said she always chose "other" for her kids.
post #18 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by atobols View Post
I agree, it's his eyes that make him look different. I don't know what it is, but he doesn't look 100% caucasian to me.
this is exactly what i thought when i met him at the age of 17. what really attracted me was his exotic features that you dont see every day. it is very interesting to read what everyone guesses he may be.
post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by polishprinsezz View Post
we are both caucasian but my hubby has exotic feature.(his family doesnt know what their ethnic background is)
Nice catch!

If you really want to know, you can look up the social security applications for any deceased family members - this will list names of the applicants parents and country of birth. You have to send away to get the actual paper, but it gives you information one generation past what you currently know. (Of course this will not work if there is adoption.)

http://ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com/
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhubarbarin View Post
I've been asked if I am 'mixed' (black/white) and I am 100% British/Irish/Scottish. With my coloring, nose shape and curly hair, I can see why people would think I'm part African. However you would never think either of my parents were anything but straight European.

Everyone assumes DBF is Jewish (our area has one of the highest populations in America) to the point that strangers ask him about holidays, recipes and where to find synagoges, but he is Roman Catholic and 100% Italian.
that's interesting because dh and I met someone who has a similar heritage to yours and we both thought she was part African.

Also I knew an Italian guy who was always being mistaken for a Jewish person and was always asked the same questions
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