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Georgia A.G.: This State Doesn’t Recognize Intermarriage

Sept. 3, 1963 - State Attorney General Eugene Cook said today that Georgia did not recognize the marriage of a Negro female graduate and a white classmate at the University of Georgia, and he added that they could not legally live together in Georgia as man and wife. Mr. Cook said he was investigating as to whether any state law had been violated by the marriage of Charlayne Hunter, 21, to Walter Stovall, 25, of Douglas, Ga. O.C. Aderhold, the university president, issued a statement at the Georgia campus in Athens, saying he was “greatly surprised and shocked” by the report from New York of the marriage. “Interracial marriage is prohibited by Georgia law and secret marriages are contrary to University of Georgia regulations,” he said. “Dismissal rules would have applied to Charlayne Hunter and Walter Stovall had the fact of their secret marriage been known. Neither, therefore, will be permitted to return to the University of Georgia.” Miss Hunter, the first Negro woman to attend the university, graduated in June. Mr. Stovall has a year to go to complete his college education. Mr. Cook said he had asked for a certified copy of any marriage certificate that could be produced from New York records. Georgia law does not recognize interracial marriage in another state. The couple also would be subject to arrest if they returned. The Attorney General said they could, if convicted, be fined up to $1,000 and sentenced to up to 18 months’ imprisonment. Mr. and Mrs. Stovall, who now live in Greenwich Village, expect a child in December.


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