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Interracial couple denied marriage license


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  #1  
October 16th, 2009, 12:06 PM
irishxrose
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Quote:
Civil rights advocates in eastern Louisiana are calling for a justice of the peace of Tangipahoa Parish to resign after he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple.

"He's an elected public official and one of his duties is to marry people. He doesn't have the right to say he doesn't believe in it," Patricia Morris, president of the NAACP branch of Tangipahoa Parish, located near the Mississippi line, said Thursday. "If he doesn't do what his position calls for him to do, he should resign from that position." The demands for Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace for Tangipahoa Parish's 8th Ward, to step down came after he wouldn't issue a marriage license to Beth Humphrey, 30, and her boyfriend, Terence McKay, 32, both of Hammond. "I was just really shocked, because he's an elected official," Humphrey said.

Bardwell didn't immediately return calls from CNN on Thursday.
However, Bardwell told Hammond's Daily Star newspaper that he was concerned for the children who might be born of the relationship and that, in his experience, most interracial marriages don't last.

"I'm not a racist," Bardwell told the newspaper. "I do ceremonies for black couples right here in my house. My main concern is for the children." Bardwell, stressing that he couldn't personally endorse the marriage, said his wife referred the couple to another justice of the peace. The bride says the case boils down to discrimination. Humphrey told CNN that she called Bardwell on October 6 to ask about getting a marriage license, and was asked by his wife whether it would be an interracial marriage. Humphrey said she was told that Bardwell does not sign off on interracial marriages.
Interracial couple in Louisiana denied marriage license - CNN.com

And because CNN was being a bit too nice in their reporting what the man said:

Quote:
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.

"I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way," Bardwell told the Associated Press on Thursday. "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."

Bardwell said he asks everyone who calls about marriage if they are a mixed race couple. If they are, he does not marry them, he said. 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.

"There is a problem with both groups accepting a child from such a marriage," Bardwell said. "I think those children suffer and I won't help put them through it." If he did an interracial marriage for one couple, he must do the same for all, he said. "I try to treat everyone equally," he said. Bardwell estimates that he has refused to marry about four couples during his career, all in the past 2 1/2 years.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/15/interracial-couple-denied_n_322784.html

Thoughts? Should he resign?

Last edited by irishxrose; October 16th, 2009 at 12:11 PM.
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  #2  
October 16th, 2009, 12:13 PM
TheOtherMichelle's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I say no. I don't agree with his reasoning but he didn't try to stop them, and in fact helped them to find someone else who didn't have a moral opposition to it. Unless one of the requirements of his license is to help all who request it, I don't see how there are any grounds to force his resignation.
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  #3  
October 16th, 2009, 12:15 PM
fluffycheeks's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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JOP's should not have discretion as to who they marry. They are employees of the law and are required to abide by the law of their state. He should be fired. I especially love that he pulled out the old 'I'm not a racist because I have black friends' line. Classic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherMichelle View Post
I say no. I don't agree with his reasoning but he didn't try to stop them, and in fact helped them to find someone else who didn't have a moral opposition to it. Unless one of the requirements of his license is to help all who request it, I don't see how there are any grounds to force his resignation.
I would agree with you if he was a private minister, it should be his call as to who he marries (although refusing to marry someone based on race is horrible), but a JOP doesn't have that discretion.
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  #4  
October 16th, 2009, 12:31 PM
irishxrose
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Originally Posted by donomama View Post
JOP's should not have discretion as to who they marry. They are employees of the law and are required to abide by the law of their state. He should be fired. I especially love that he pulled out the old 'I'm not a racist because I have black friends' line. Classic.

I would agree with you if he was a private minister, it should be his call as to who he marries (although refusing to marry someone based on race is horrible), but a JOP doesn't have that discretion.
Exactly. He is representing the State of Louisiana as a JOP and as such Loving v. Virginia applies to him. He doesn't get a choice in the matter - he HAS to issue them marriage licenses, just as he does to same race couples. His refusing to issue licenses to four couples, based ONLY on their interracial relationship, ie race, is a violation of the Constitution, specifically the 14th Amendment and its Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses.

He is a government employee and represents the state of Louisiana and what he did breaks the law. I don't care if he has a moral opposition to it - he should know the law as a judge, and it is illegal for a JOP to refuse to issue marriage licenses based solely on the couple's race/s. He should not be on the bench, and should resign.

And the worry about the children line is a misplaced concern. My interracial kid is thriving just fine, thanks. Ugh.
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  #5  
October 16th, 2009, 12:41 PM
TheOtherMichelle's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Okay, I know very little about the laws regarding JOP's but with the info above I agree with you guys.
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  #6  
October 16th, 2009, 01:06 PM
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I think this JOP is so wrong. I was sickened when I read this. His concern was for the children? Gimme a break!! I think bi racial are the MOST beautiful children. He talks as if these bi racial children are not children at all. Omg this makes me so mad.
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  #7  
October 16th, 2009, 01:30 PM
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This man is strange. I think he needs mental help ASAP. HE seems to have a god complex or something. It's not his place to decide something like this based on the resulting offspring because uh, not to put too fine a point on it but you don't even have to be married to produce offspring. So his whole arguement is kaput (not to mention stupid and bigotted).
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  #8  
October 16th, 2009, 01:36 PM
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^^ ITA.

He is COMPLETELY wrong!!!
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  #9  
October 16th, 2009, 02:27 PM
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This is what I don't get. EVERYONE is multi-racial. No one is pure anything! Yes, some people may only have "white colored" ancestors but they are still multi-racial (I'm not sure I'm using race correctly here but bear with me). My parents are Mexican (dad) but he's of Spanish-Mexican descent (no pure blood "Mexicans" either!), my mom is Irish/Cherokee - however the Irish line is tainted throughout history with other races and clans and such. No one can claim any pure line of anything. So every child is born to a multi-racial household.
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  #10  
October 16th, 2009, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donomama View Post
JOP's should not have discretion as to who they marry. They are employees of the law and are required to abide by the law of their state. He should be fired. I especially love that he pulled out the old 'I'm not a racist because I have black friends' line. Classic.



I would agree with you if he was a private minister, it should be his call as to who he marries (although refusing to marry someone based on race is horrible), but a JOP doesn't have that discretion.
i agree with donomama
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  #11  
October 16th, 2009, 03:13 PM
SusieQ2's Avatar Jersey Girl
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Wow he lets black people use his bathroom! That MUST mean he's not a racist. I think the guy is a complete idiot and shouldn't hold a public office. If he's not willing to do the job that he's being paid to do then he has no business in that position whatsoever.
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  #12  
October 16th, 2009, 03:32 PM
Jarheadwed's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donomama View Post
JOP's should not have discretion as to who they marry. They are employees of the law and are required to abide by the law of their state. He should be fired. I especially love that he pulled out the old 'I'm not a racist because I have black friends' line. Classic.

I would agree with you if he was a private minister, it should be his call as to who he marries (although refusing to marry someone based on race is horrible), but a JOP doesn't have that discretion.
I agree as well. A minister or private officiant can discriminate all they want. A state employee should not be able to.
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  #14  
October 16th, 2009, 04:51 PM
Wolfmama09's Avatar " He's a marshmallow!"
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I agree. As a state employee he cannot pick and choose like that.It saddens me that this is still going on in 2009. And I totally agree with the " I'm not racist" sign being a BIG giveaway that you are lol.
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  #15  
October 17th, 2009, 06:23 AM
TheOtherMichelle's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Originally Posted by SusieQ2 View Post
Wow he lets black people use his bathroom! That MUST mean he's not a racist. I think the guy is a complete idiot and shouldn't hold a public office. If he's not willing to do the job that he's being paid to do then he has no business in that position whatsoever.
I guess that was posted after I originally commented. When I read that today I think my face was
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  #16  
October 17th, 2009, 06:36 AM
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I think he needs to find a new job.
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  #17  
October 17th, 2009, 07:08 AM
SusieQ2's Avatar Jersey Girl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherMichelle View Post
I guess that was posted after I originally commented. When I read that today I think my face was
Yeah my face was the same way. I think if you feel the need to justify yourself by making a comment like "I'm not prejudice because I let black people use my bathroom" you probably are a racist and you're just trying to deny it.
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  #18  
October 17th, 2009, 09:45 AM
aussiemummy
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He needs to find a new job, racism and ignorance shouldn't be tolerated in any workplace.
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  #19  
October 17th, 2009, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by aussiemummy View Post
He needs to find a new job, racism and ignorance shouldn't be tolerated in any workplace.
ITA!!
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  #20  
October 17th, 2009, 10:15 AM
BonitaAppleBomb's Avatar ~African-American-Mommy~
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I agree. A person can be racist until they're red, white, and blue in the face for all I care in their own house and on their property. Wear all the white sheets they wanna wear and hang all of the racist flags they want, but when you step outside of your domain and into the public sector, that trash needs to be left at home.

He needs to take all that crap to the house and stay there with it. How can he and has he been expected to be fair to AA with the mentality that he has in his line of work. Who knows how many people he has wronged in the justice system just because of the color of their skin-such as giving harsher sentences to AAs. Quite sickening if you ask me.

But the odd thing is this- I don't respect him, but I do respect his opinion. I don't agree with him, but I respect his opinion. At least he's upfront about how he feels so people will know how to deal with him. It's the "closet racists" that I have a problem /take issue with that sometimes let their true colors show then try to retract their actions. You know-- the ones that try to hide their racism but don't really do a good job at hiding it.
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