questioned about race when applying for marriage liscence - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-29-2008, 11:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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

Lisa wife to Ronne and mom to 4 kids ,Thomas 4/92, Amanda 9/99, Christopher 8/06 & Nathaniel 5/08.
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Old 08-30-2008, 02:00 PM
 
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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.
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Old 08-31-2008, 04:53 PM
 
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NICE TATS!!!
Yea, thats weird that they asked. People are rude.
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Old 08-31-2008, 04:56 PM
 
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nak
when DH and I applied we were both asked and DH is very obviously white.

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Old 08-31-2008, 05:07 PM
 
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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!!
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Old 08-31-2008, 05:07 PM
 
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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?

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Old 08-31-2008, 07:19 PM
 
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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.
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Old 09-01-2008, 10:23 PM
 
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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'.
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:50 PM
 
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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!

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Old 09-02-2008, 03:30 PM
 
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Your husband doesn't look especially "ethnic" in any direction... I think the person was just curious.
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Old 09-02-2008, 03:34 PM
 
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i respectfully disagree. his eyes are what does it for me.
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Old 09-02-2008, 03:47 PM
 
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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.

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Old 09-02-2008, 04:44 PM
 
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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.
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:02 PM
 
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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).
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:46 PM
 
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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).

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Old 09-02-2008, 07:39 PM
 
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*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!

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Old 09-02-2008, 08:18 PM
 
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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.

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Old 09-05-2008, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.

Lisa wife to Ronne and mom to 4 kids ,Thomas 4/92, Amanda 9/99, Christopher 8/06 & Nathaniel 5/08.
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Old 09-06-2008, 02:22 PM
 
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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/
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Old 09-06-2008, 03:27 PM
 
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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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Old 09-06-2008, 03:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by paquerette View Post
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).
Jim Varney. I was thinking exactly the same thing!
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Old 09-06-2008, 08:37 PM
 
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In Utah we had to put our ethnicity, and we both wrote in "Human" on the "Other" section. The lady thought it was funny, then crossed it out and marked "white".

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Old 09-06-2008, 11:00 PM
 
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He looks a lot like my DH, but mine has blue eyes ... he is of german, irish and italian decent. I think he is only a third generation American on all sides, so there is no chance my DH is American Indian at all. People ask him for directions in spanish all the time.

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Old 09-07-2008, 01:29 AM
 
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He look Cajun to me. Very good looking man.
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Old 09-07-2008, 07:27 PM
 
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Well, he looks like a mix of Native American Indian and white to me. A lot of states have race on their forms. I answer only if they let you answer more than one, otherwise I put "other".

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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Old 09-13-2008, 07:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by marybethorama View Post
that's interesting because dh and I met someone who has a similar heritage to yours and we both thought she was part African.
Actually from a scottish/irish point of view it's not that strange, there have always been 'dark' scots as such, many refer to some highlanders as 'dark highlanders' or a 'black highlander' because they sometimes (not so much nowadays) are quite different in colour to the other locals, it's actually quite well known at this side of the pond!!

Just wanted to answer your question though - we have often been asked our origins - and we were asked when applying for a marriage licence - personally I don't think it should matter as we say over here 'We're a' Jock Thompson's bairns" and depending on how I'm feeling I may not answer, but yes on many occasions, from lots of different folk.

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Old 09-13-2008, 08:52 PM
 
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Genetics are a funny thing ... you never know when something recessive will show up. Your DH has an interesting face, and I have no idea what his ethnicity is beyond "white" or European. To me he looks like some eastern Europeans I have seen and met.

I'm pretty sure the marriage license we applied for requested racial/ethnic information. I suspect it's for demographic collection. (How else would they know how many multiracial marriages there are in the US, for example?) But we filled those forms out ourselves; no one questioned us.
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Old 09-13-2008, 08:56 PM
 
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Actually from a scottish/irish point of view it's not that strange, there have always been 'dark' scots as such, many refer to some highlanders as 'dark highlanders' or a 'black highlander' because they sometimes (not so much nowadays) are quite different in colour to the other locals, it's actually quite well known at this side of the pond!!
This is true; I have a friend who is Scottish and Jewish. He is very olive complexioned and has a bit of a broad nose. He stopped wearing a beard at one point because he was so tired of being hassled by people on public transportation and at the airports (because he looked Arab). The interesting thing is, his coloring is from his Scottish side; his Jewish side is all pale as milk. But I guess he's descended from the Picts (?), who were mountainous people and quite dark compared to other Scots.
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:22 PM
 
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I honestly can't remember if they asked us or not. My DH is Hispanic and his name screams it though so maybe they just knew.

But he most certainly doesn't look Cuban. My DH is Cuban as is a ton of his friends and he looks nothing like any of them, or any of the pictures of people my DH has shown me from when he lived in Cuba. Most Cubans are Spanish decent actually or African decent. They basically wiped out the native population or rapped then to create a bi-racial but yeah not that many Cubans look "Hispanic." He looks more Polish or Eastern European to me but really it could be from many places.
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:35 PM
 
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He looks part Indian (as in from India) to me.
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