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NEW ORLEANS – 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.
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."



Thoughts & opinons without getting political?????????
 

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just... wow, what the hell is with people?
 

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I think they should find someone else to sign the license. Problem solved.. move on.

I don't agree with the guy btw, but I hope they're not waiting for him to sign it.

S CP :D
 

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Jesus felt the same way. This country was founded on the Christian religion and as time moves on there is more and more seperation of church from state. As that seperation continues this country will continue in it's decline.
 

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"
NEW ORLEANS – 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.
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."



Thoughts & opinons without getting political?????????

So whats wrong with this? its not racist! he has every right to say yes or no! if thats his belief then so be it! The one's crying wolf on the race card are the ones that cant deal with it!
 
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So whats wrong with this? its not racist! he has every right to say yes or no! if thats his belief then so be it! The one's crying wolf on the race card are the ones that cant deal with it!
What's wrong with this is a justice of the peace or any man, for that matter, has no right what so ever to say what man and what woman should or should not be married. IMO, it's simple.
 

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What's wrong with this is a justice of the peace or any man, for that matter, has no right what so ever to say what man and what woman should or should not be married. IMO, it's simple.
True! he should have just said No i cant do it,,and not give a reason!

But then again,,does he not have freedom of speech like we all do? it was just his opinion,,everybody has one.
 

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lol, right.....
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What's wrong with this is a justice of the peace or any man, for that matter, has no right what so ever to say what man and what woman should or should not be married. IMO, it's simple.
Not exactly... I know of more than one couple that had a justice of the peace or even a pastor/preacher refuse to perform the ceremony for some reason or another, my wife & I being one of them. All for reasons that could be considered discriminatory(sp?)...

Not saying what this particular J.O.T.P did was "right", just saying it can & will happen....
 

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What's wrong with this is a justice of the peace or any man, for that matter, has no right what so ever to say what man and what woman should or should not be married. IMO, it's simple.
I completely disagree. Marriage is a religious act and therefore religion should be the bassis for marriage, IMO. It's very simple so I do agree with you on that one point of it's simplicity.
 

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Here is what the Justice said.......

Bardwell said a justice of the peace is not required to conduct a marriage ceremony and is at liberty to recuse himself “from a marriage or anything else.”

He said the state attorney general told him years ago that he would eventually get into trouble for not performing interracial marriages.

“I told him if I do, I’ll resign,” Bardwell said. “I have rights too. I’m not obligated to do that just because I’m a justice of the peace.”

So my question is any license to include a drivers license is at the determination of the state weather to issue it or not. So what makes a marriage license different? My previous marriage was denied for personal reasons by the pastor.....I did not go to church enough. Marriage license and ceremonies are denied everyday.
 

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I'm baaaaack...
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This guy has a right to his opinion, no matter what you or I or anyone else thinks of that opinion. All you who think he should be forced to do something against his personal beliefs or be fired, please report to the Gestapo headquarters, they are recruiting. You'll find it in the Yellow Pages under SEIU.
 
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I completely disagree. Marriage is a religious act and therefore religion should be the bassis for marriage, IMO. It's very simple so I do agree with you on that one point of it's simplicity.
It's not religious when performed by a Justice of the Peace. Religion is not the basis of all marriage. In many cases it's a business agreement. It's hardly religious when a couple gets married at the Little Chapel of the West in Las Vegas. I guess we should agree to disagree about this one.

I believe as a Justice of the Peace, he had a job to do whether he agreed with the race issue or not. Thought most here believed in personnel rights and freedom. In the absence of a law, precluding inter-racial marriage, IMO, the JOP was flat out worng.
 
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