The number of interracial marriages has increased in the United States. In 1970 the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there were just over 300,000 documented interracial marriages. The 1992 census indicates that well over a million marriages are interracial.
Dating someone outside of your race has been controversial for many centuries. At one point Canada, Australia, and the United states all banned interracial relationships. The origin of such debates stem from a hair brained notion that interracial relationships diluted racial purity.
A University in South Carolina went so far as to attempt to ban its students from interracial dating. To justify their ridiculous stance they cited references from the bible that have been preached for ages to scare parishioners about other races. The Bible doesn't ever actually use the word race. This didn't stop the President of the South Carolina University from threatening its students with expulsion if they were caught in an interracial relationship.
Still today, many people continue to be uncomfortable about interracial relations. Oddly enough a survey was done in 2003 that polled nearly fifteen hundred Americans to see if they were more of less accepting depending on the races involved. Those that indicated that they were vehemently opposed to black/white marriages were more comfortable with Hispanic/White or Asian/White unions. The survey concluded that the largest correlation to attitudes against interracial relationships stemmed from the actual color of someone's skin.
Another survey has shown that slowly the nation is becoming more approving of interracial relationships. In 1972 nearly 60% of surveyed Americans said that they adamantly disapprove of interracial couples. However in 2001 the same survey shows that well over 65% of polled Americans now approve and or have no issues with interracial dating.
One of the reasons for the shift could be that so many celebrities are happily involved in interracial relationships. Halle Berry, an Academy Award winning movie star and face of an international beauty product campaign, is involved with a Caucasian model. If it raises any eyebrows it is only because of their age difference as opposed to their differences in race. Tiger Woods recently married a Swedish model and Taye Diggs, a Broadway, film and television star, has long been married to a woman who was not the same race. These celebrities are making it mainstream and tearing down racial barriers every time their photo is in the press.