NELSONVILLE, Ohio â€“ Barack Obama was nearing his sixth birthday when the Supreme Court struck down the last 16 state laws banning interracial marriage. Forty years later, the offspring of such unions and folks who crossed racial lines to find a spouse, like Mr. Obama’s parents, are watching his campaign with special pride.
Usually they’re anonymous in the crowd. Rarely do they get to thank Mr. Obama directly, as a local pastor, Leon Forte, got to do Sunday morning at a town hall in Ohio’s rural Appalachia region.
“I’m the father of two biracial children, and your campaign has lifted them into a whole new dimension,” he said before asking about home foreclosures, a problem afflicting his congregation. “And so, I’m proud, as an African American.” Mr. Obama thanked him for saying so.
Voters of many ethnicities find meaning in the Obama candidacy, just as many women root for Hillary Rodham Clinton to break the gender barrier.
But for mixed-race families, he represents a lifting of ancient taboos.