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 Interracial couple denied marriage license in La.

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catbox_9
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PostSubject: Interracial couple denied marriage license in La.   Fri Oct 16, 2009 2:24 am

NEW ORLEANS A white 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.

Beth Humphrey, 30, and 32-year-old Terence McKay, both of Hammond, say they will consult the U.S. Justice Department about filing a discrimination complaint.

Humphrey, an account manager for a marketing firm, said she and McKay, a welder, just returned to Louisiana. She is white and he is black. She plans to enroll in the University of New Orleans to pursue a masters degree in minority politics.

"That was one thing that made this so unbelievable," she said. "It's not something you expect in this day and age."

Humphrey said 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. Bardwell suggested the couple go to another justice of the peace in the parish who agreed to marry them.

"We are looking forward to having children," Humphrey said. "And all our friends and co-workers have been very supportive. Except for this, we're typical happy newlyweds."

"It is really astonishing and disappointing to see this come up in 2009," said American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana attorney Katie Schwartzmann. She said the Supreme Court ruled in 1967 "that the government cannot tell people who they can and cannot marry."

The ACLU sent a letter to the Louisiana Judiciary Committee, which oversees the state justices of the peace, asking them to investigate Bardwell and recommending "the most severe sanctions available, because such blatant bigotry poses a substantial threat of serious harm to the administration of justice."

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

"I've been a justice of the peace for 34 years and I don't think I've mistreated anybody," Bardwell said. "I've made some mistakes, but you have too. I didn't tell this couple they couldn't get married. I just told them I wouldn't do it."


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PostSubject: Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in La.   Fri Oct 16, 2009 2:25 am

What the hell confused


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PostSubject: Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in La.   Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:20 pm

What the Duece? Did we go back in time to 1959 or something?


Why can't they get married; That justice of the peace should be thrown out on his ass.
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PostSubject: Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in La.   Sat Oct 17, 2009 2:30 pm

Call the ACLU - that guy is out of a job for life. He's not racist though because he lets non-whites use his bathrooms.

I wonder if he'd grand a marriage license to an Asian and a white person? What about a Northerner and a Southerner?


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PostSubject: Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in La.   Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:03 pm

This is really embarrassing for my state.

My Mom said "he needs to go."
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PostSubject: Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in La.   Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:07 pm

catbox_9 wrote:
Call the ACLU - that guy is out of a job for life. He's not racist though because he lets non-whites use his bathrooms.

I wonder if he'd grand a marriage license to an Asian and a white person? What about a Northerner and a Southerner?


I bet he has no problem with cousins marrying each other though
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PostSubject: Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in La.   Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:53 pm

gs78 wrote:
catbox_9 wrote:
Call the ACLU - that guy is out of a job for life. He's not racist though because he lets non-whites use his bathrooms.

I wonder if he'd grand a marriage license to an Asian and a white person? What about a Northerner and a Southerner?


I bet he has no problem with cousins marrying each other though

Or especially siblings - siblings already know how to live together so it follows that they'd marry well. Science has proven that siblings shouldn't have children, but what's science ever done for us Rolling Eyes


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PostSubject: Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in La.   Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:53 pm

grandyporcfan wrote:
This is really embarrassing for my state.

My Mom said "he needs to go."


Oh I'm sure he will.


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PostSubject: Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in La.   Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:53 am

catbox_9 wrote:
grandyporcfan wrote:
This is really embarrassing for my state.

My Mom said "he needs to go."


Oh I'm sure he will.

Thanks for quoting me, always makes me feel important.
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PostSubject: Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in La.   Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:30 pm

catbox_9 wrote:
grandyporcfan wrote:
This is really embarrassing for my state.

My Mom said "he needs to go."


Oh I'm sure he will.



On a one way ticket out of town
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PostSubject: Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in La.   Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:33 pm

BATON ROUGE, La. 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."

Bardwell refused to perform the ceremony for Beth Humphrey and Terence McKay because they are of different races.

When questioned about his refusal, Bardwell acknowledged he routinely recuses himself from marrying interracial couples because he believes such marriages cause harm to the couples' children. In interviews, he said he refers such couples to other justices of the peace, who then perform the ceremony, which happened in this case.

Humphrey has said she and McKay received their marriage license from the parish clerk of court, where they also received a list of people qualified to perform the ceremony. When she called Bardwell's office to ask about the ceremony on Oct. 6, Humphrey said Bardwell's wife told her that the justice wouldn't sign their marriage license because they were a "mixed couple."

Bardwell didn't immediately return a call for comment Tuesday about his resignation, which followed calls for his ouster from several public officials, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.

Humphrey and McKay have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Bardwell.


---------------

I hope they sue him for everything he's worth!


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PostSubject: Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in La.   Sat Nov 07, 2009 8:25 pm

Sadly, I live there and didn't even know this occurred.

But, I'm glad it did!
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