Join the 21st Century Louisiana

In an age in which we have seen a dramatic increase in interracial dating and marriage, this article below that I received from a friend today showcases that there are a few living in the dark ages. Read all of it here. Interracial couples in Houston are a normal sight; however, one supporting Obama is not.

HAMMOND, La. – 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.

In a day and age in which over half the population is divorced, to argue that it is any different for interracial couples is laughable.


8 thoughts on “Join the 21st Century Louisiana

  1. I just can’t believe this happened. It’s hard enough to imagine that anti-miscegenation laws were ever on the books–much less being enforced now.

    Elsewhere, I read that he thought it was for the couple’s benefit because he’s seen a lot of similar marriages end in divorce. It make me wonder if he would have stopped my marriage. We were both 22 and, statistically, many folks who marry at that young of an age get divorced. It’s simply disgusting.

  2. Ian, I’m sorry, but I CAN believe it happened. We are so NOT a post-racial society.

    Stuff like this just continues to remind me that we ignore the crazies on the fringes (on BOTH “sides of the political aisle”, I might add) at our collective peril.

  3. Let me preface this by saying that I have only performed one wedding in my life, and it was for an interracial couple. I have no problem with interracial marriage, and would be happy to perform more wedding ceremonies in the future for interracial couples if I were asked.

    That having been said, I’ve been surprised at some of the reactions I’ve read regarding this news story. I first read this article on the story, and I’ve since discussed it with some friends. While I don’t agree with this judge’s position, I don’t like judging the man without hearing more on the issue.

    Some have asserted that his position is equivalent to bigotry. I can respect that belief, but I’m not sure I agree with it. I can think of plenty of reasons why someone could oppose it that are not based in racial bias. Of course, I can imagine (and have heard) plenty of reasons that are based in racial bias.

    From the interview, the judge doesn’t sound like a bigot to me. I think he honestly believes a child of that marriage will be better off not existing because of social conditions. That is a sad statement, indeed. The conditions that lead him to think that this is better for the couple are sad.

    Whether it is legal for him to refuse to marry a couple, I don’t know. As a judge, the law should be his first priority. If indeed his actions are illegal, and he cannot reconcile himself ethically to the law, then he should resign.

    In response to the first post above, the article doesn’t say that this judge attempted to stop this marriage, but simply that he refused to perform the ceremony himself. Take that for what it’s worth.

  4. Lloyd:

    Great comment. He is still breaking the law by not performing this action. And by doing so for others but not for interracial couples is a violation of the 14th amendment. Regardless, I question his motives here.

  5. Let me get this straight…He has “piles and piles of black friends” (what…like dirty clothes in the laundry room?) and he even let’s them use his bathroom? What a guy! Is there no intelligence test for becoming Justice of the Peace in LA?

    I’ve been in an interracial marriage for 5 years and have 2 beautiful children as a result of our union. Same-ethnicity marriages do not have a monopoly on raising happy, well-adjusted children; nor do opposite-sex marriages for that matter. I guess this is why so many are anti-gay marriage.

  6. Even if the man is genuinely not racist and really is concerned for the children (which I do not believe, but let’s play pretend), he’s quite misguided. First, as a judge you follow the law. Don’t agree with it? Step down. You don’t get to make the rules. Second, if you’re not racist but are concerned that children from a mixed marriage will be treated badly, you work on changing attitudes. You don’t refuse to marry an interracial couple.

    PS He lets African Americans use his bathroom? What a shining beacon of open-minded hospitality this guy is. This is not exactly the least racist thing I can think of a person saying.

  7. Excuse you, who was making up the rules on the bench for some time now. Abortion, gay as a right? That this man doesnt believe in miscegenation is his right as is the new Justice Sotomayor believes white men are deficient in judgement. And arent people of mixed marriage and or birth always complaining about how hard it is to be caught between two worlds? This judge is someone who agrees. Why advocate it then? I guess more of that taking on the world crap that kids think they can do. Sad.

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