Louisiana Justice of the Peace Refuses to Marry Interracial Couples

250px-OthellopaintingKeith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana has become an infamous figure overnight after he refused to marry an interracial couple out of concern for their possible children. However, he helpfully explained “I’m not a racist. I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way.”

Could have fooled me.

I take it that he is not a big fan of Othello.

Bardwell seems to be laboring under the misconception that he can administer his office along racial lines and that insisting on people marrying within their race is not racist.

He insists that “I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else.”

“Piles” of minority friends who are even allowed to use his bathroom.

He insists that he is just thinking of the kinder: “There is a problem with both groups accepting a child from such a marriage,. I think those children suffer and I won’t help put them through it.”

In the past 2 1/2 years, Bardwell says that he has refused to marry at least four couples. This includes the most recent “unacceptable” couple Beth Humphrey, 30, and Terence McKay, 32.

They are in the same position as Mildred Loving (Mildred Delores Jeter) and Richard Perry Loving. The interracial couple that led to Supreme Court to strike down the Racial Integrity Act, a state law banning marriages between any white person and any non-white person. While the Lovings were prosecuted under the law, the unanimous ruling in Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967) established that it was unconstitutional to deny such licenses to interracial couples.

Obviously, Bardwell has to be stripped of his position. There is also the question as to the status of his bar license since some bars deny licenses to lawyers with known racist views. Finally, there is the potential for civil liability since he is violating the constitutional rights of these couples.

The couple has come forward to express their anger and disgust over the incident, here.

For the full story, click here and here.

39 thoughts on “Louisiana Justice of the Peace Refuses to Marry Interracial Couples”

  1. Make certain you invest a while researching local earnings amounts and also other aspects, such as unemployment prices or neighborhood organisations strategies for broadening or acquiring their
    enterprises prior to commit a substantial amount of money
    into real-estate. If you’re considering a home that’s in close proximity to things like a university, work facilities, or
    a medical center, they’re very likely to promote quick, as well as at an increased worth.

  2. Should you be beginner buyer, you can start with just one single one type of purchase.
    Pick out one particular property sort that you just would take pleasure in beginning from and merely pay attention to it.
    It can be to your advantage to keep focused entirely on a
    single type and do your very best, than to distribute oneself as well lean
    and just do regular at several purchases.

  3. This just in:

    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana justice of the peace who refused to marry a couple because the bride was white and groom was black resigned Tuesday.

    Keith Bardwell, who is white, quit the post with a one-sentence statement to Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne and no explanation of his decision: ”I do hereby resign the office of Justice of the Peace for the Eighth Ward of Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, effective November 3, 2009.”

  4. I left a reply a few days ago, and I screwed it up. I’ll try to find it again: The “Justice of the Peace” defended his actions on tape.

    That’s what both eases and frightens me. They are so upfront about their hatred, so you know who the bad guys are, but they are setting an egregious tone for the country.

    Is it Cronkite’s vision of what 24/7 news cycles will do?

    Related: Evolving English. My cell phone company offers me a ‘kickback’ if I sign up other people. Honestly, I feel like my grandmother, “what is this world coming to?” But the poor dear was horrified that she gave birth to three Republicans. Think I mentioned that before.

    Back to the point, there’s a lot of stories like this I can tell about the North End (and elsewhere.) There was a woman that lived on the 4th floor of our building. Lilly was screaming out of her window at 4 a.m. “What the hell are you doing here?” and less polite things, most of which I couldn’t make out. We looked out the window, and there was a Black, very-well dressed man–probably a student at Suffolk or another school, standing there, looking puzzled. We don’t remember how we communicated this, but we told him how unsafe it was. In another few minutes, there would’ve been a mob.

    Just missed talking to you guys. Sweet tides,

  5. Did they end up getting married? Was this the only guy that could or they wanted to be married by? I wouldn’t want nobody marrying me who was ill spirited.

  6. As far as the DOJ goes, every few days I’m sending him letters, emails and petitions about torture, detention without charge, trial or sentence. Even though he is making incremental moves, it’s not enough, as pointed out in the thread on Obama pushing to keep the pictures of torture out of the light.

    This isn’t limited to Louisiana. Although it was 20 years ago, Boston had serious racial problems. When I lived in the North End, a woman’s apartment was set on fire because she dated a black man. And when our local tenant’s org in the Back Bay/Fenway had a fair (I volunteered there) I had 2 biracial couples, one with kids, that couldn’t find an apartment. Back Bay and esp. Fenway was a mixed community; that’s what we liked about it. The couples had no trouble on the phone, but when they showed up, they were told the apartment was already rented.

    I don’t know if things have changed in Boston; I only go there to see doctors now. But that attitude is every where; even in the Berkshires, you’d be surprised how much anti-semitism and racism is just beneath the surface.

  7. AY writes: Exactly what is Good Moral Character?

    it’s what other people tell you how you should behave. It has nothing to do with how they should behave.

  8. aerie writes: I like your bus reference.

    I should have given the reference. It’s from “Ground Hog Day” before Bill Murray is turned into a nice guy.

  9. Dear anonymous, I always put civil rights first. All the other things don’t matter if citizens have no rights.

  10. naschkatze 1, October 16, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    I wonder if the Obama DoJ will touch this.

    well yeah, we have to have our attention diverted from the real problems facing many of us. Like unemployment, hunger, wages, insurance, children, parents, good weed, DEA, ATF, IRS, DOJ, FBI, CIA, ASCAP, Gitmo, Terrorism, Indian Casino’s (still pissed about the beads for property deal)etc.

    You see its all smoke and mirrors. I used to prefer smoke in the tube and lines on the mirror. But welcome to the Hotel California.

  11. Good Moral Character?

    Exactly what is Good Moral Character? Do Politicians, have to comply like a person seeking admission to the bar? to become a naturalized citizen? To be a Roman Catholic Priest? (Threw this one in for free)

    Here is the only crap that I have found related to GMC and its for the state of Florida (Day Care).


    393.135 relating to sexual misconduct with certain developmentally disabled clients
    394.4593 relating to sexual misconduct with certain mental health patients
    415.111 adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation of aged persons or disabled adults
    741.30 domestic violence and injunction for protection (defined in 741.28) means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, etc. of a family or household member
    782.04 murder
    782.07 manslaughter, aggravated manslaughter of an elderly person or disabled adult, or aggravated manslaughter of a child

    et. al.

    Link: http://www.babygator.ufl.edu/about/researchers/Attestation.pdf

    Am I free of character defects? WOW

  12. GWLawSchoolMom:

    I like your bus reference. I live in NC, where it’s not as archaeic as LA, (we became a blue state for the 1st time at election time) but I live in a rural, small town and I’ve been waiting on the bus to come for them for a long time!

    The bus stop is crowded, but I hear it coming around the corner on Main St. where 1 of our 3 Baptist churches sits in our one-stoplight town. And even though the hourly hymns thundered out by their church bells drowns out its noisy exhaust, I’m not giving up. 😀

Comments are closed.