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Interracial couple denied marriage license in La.

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by bwright, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. bwright

    bwright Member

    Sorry if this has been posted. Too good of a discussion to be missed, though.

    HAMMOND, La. (AP) — A Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern for any children the couple might have.

    Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, says it is his experience that most interracial marriages do not last long.

    Neither Bardwell nor the couple immediately returned phone calls from The Associated Press. But Bardwell told the Daily Star of Hammond that he was not a racist.

    "I do ceremonies for black couples right here in my house," Bardwell said. "My main concern is for the children."

    Bardwell said he has discussed the topic with blacks and whites, along with witnessing some interracial marriages. He came to the conclusion that most of black society does not readily accept offspring of such relationships, and neither does white society, he said.

    "I don't do interracial marriages because I don't want to put children in a situation they didn't bring on themselves," Bardwell said. "In my heart, I feel the children will later suffer."

    If he does an interracial marriage for one couple, he must do the same for all, he said.

    "I try to treat everyone equally," he said.

    Thirty-year-old Beth Humphrey and 32-year-old Terence McKay, both of Hammond, say they will consult the U.S. Justice Department about filing a discrimination complaint.

    Humphrey told the newspaper she called Bardwell on Oct. 6 to inquire about getting a marriage license signed. She says Bardwell's wife told her that Bardwell will not sign marriage licenses for interracial couples.

    "It is really astonishing and disappointing to see this come up in 2009," said American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana attorney Katie Schwartzman. "The Supreme Court ruled as far back as 1963 that the government cannot tell people who they can and cannot marry."

    The ACLU was preparing a letter for the Louisiana Supreme Court, which oversees the state justices of the peace, asking them to investigate Bardwell and see if they can remove him from office, Schwartzman said.

    "He knew he was breaking the law, but continued to do it," Schwartzman said.

    According to the clerk of court's office, application for a marriage license must be made three days before the ceremony because there is a 72-hour waiting period. The applicants are asked if they have previously been married. If so, they must show how the marriage ended, such as divorce.

    Other than that, all they need is a birth certificate and Social Security card.

    The license fee is $35, and the license must be signed by a Louisiana minister, justice of the peace or judge. The original is returned to the clerk's office.
  2. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    Cripes. Only in Louisiana.
  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member


    One my son's football team of about 26 players, three of the parents are interracial -- white women and black husbands.

    It's just not a big deal, Mr. I'm Not a Racist.
  4. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    That amazes me....

    you got kids?
  5. schiezainc

    schiezainc Well-Known Member

    Well, clearly the man is making a good call. We all know that whites only marriages and blacks only marriages never fail. ::)
  6. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Is the judge afraid the kids would catch teh gay?
  7. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Yeah, because there haven't been any stories recently involving a certain child of a mixed marriage doing pretty well for himself in the world.

    Ol' Whatshisname.
  8. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

  9. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Him, too.
  10. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Or that other guy who hasn't exactly been a total flop as shortstop of the Yankees.
  11. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    I mean, if all you're going to do is become President of the United States and win the Nobel Peace Prize... Justice of the Peace Bardwell is concerned for you.
  12. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Kenyans are not in a Louisiana's judge's jurisdiction[/blue]
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