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"It's racist, that's all you can call it," Harville told WSAZ. You won't find a nicer person," he said about his daughter's fiance, who is originally from Zimbabwe.Chikuni told CNN affiliate WLEX, "For someone who, like Stella, has been going to that church for all her life, expecting some support from them.

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That led to the vote on November 27 on a church policy banning interracial couples from attending or participating in services.

Historian John Blassingame notes that from 1841 to 1860, half of the marriages in South Carolinas Episcopal churches were slave marriages.

These ministers wanted to see slaves '...united under the laws of God, even if their marriages were not recognized by the laws of man'." U. miscgenation [interracial] marriage: Also in the US, miscegenation laws that restricted marriages on the basis of race were enforced in many states starting with Maryland in the 1660s.

Then the issue wasn't two men or two women wanting the state's blessing for their matrimony, but couples from different races seeking to be married.

According to Reverend Scotty Mc Lennan of Stanford University, author of , it was the Catholic Church that stepped forward to successfully challenge California's anti-miscegenation law on behalf of a black-white couple in Los Angeles. It wasn't until 1967 that the Supreme Court struck down remaining restrictions on interracial marriage then being enforced by some twenty states.

Catholic views on interracial dating