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10/15/2009 11:30 PM ID: 81178 Permalink   

Justice of the Peace Denies Mixed-Race Couple Marriage License


Hammond, Louisiana: Tangipahoa Parish Justice of the Peace Keith Bardwell refused to grant a marriage license to an interracial couple on grounds, in his opinion, that the unions do not last long.

"I do ceremonies for black couples right here in my house. My main concern is for the children," said Bardwell. "I don't do interracial marriages because I don't want to put children in a situation they didn't bring on themselves."

The couple, 30-year-old Beth Humphrey and 32-year-old Terence McKay, say they will file a discrimination complaint. "The Supreme Court ruled as far back as 1963 that the government cannot tell people who they can and cannot marry," the ACLU said.

    WebReporter: Lurker Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
The government can tell people they can't get married if both partners have a hoo-hoo-dilly or if both have a cha-cha.
  by: Ben_Reilly     10/15/2009 11:35 PM     
I thought the same thing.
  by: Lurker     10/15/2009 11:48 PM     
LOL. Excellent point. The government should stay out of it entirely. Let loving couples make the commitment and enjoy the benefits without discrimination.
  by: bluraven64   10/16/2009 12:27 AM     
  Can I just point something out?  
The government never said they couldnt get married. This guy never said they couldnt get married.

He just said he didnt want to be the one that made the union and be resposible for the situation the kids would be born into.

He marries same race couples.

Its simply his opinion/conclusion.

"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."
  by: AccessG     10/16/2009 02:42 AM     
  LMFAO @ Ben....  
I thought the same thing but after reading your comment, I'm not sure I can add anything better.

But I will elaborate... Not all hoo-hoo-dillys are the same color. Some are black, some are white and some are kinda in between, but it's been my experience that all cha-chas are pink.. at least where they are most used. :D

  by: bbeljefe     10/16/2009 02:53 AM     
This man is an officer of the court and a public servant. It is neither his job nor his right to use the law as a vehicle of enforcing his moral or ethical standards on law abiding citizens. These people have a legal right to marry, as is dictated by our current laws and for him to refuse them the same service a same race couple enjoys should be considered a refusal to perform the duties that the taxpayers of his parish have hired him for.

This man's actions are equivalent to a janitor refusing to clean black and white counter tops because he believes them to dirty more quickly than all white or all black counter tops.

  by: bbeljefe     10/16/2009 03:04 AM     
  then maybe...  
You (not you you but someone) need to hire a new janitor?

If one stylist wont cut my hair another will.
If one restaurant doesn't serve my kind of food there will be another that will.
Surely this isn't the ONLY JoP in Louisiana (Though I don't disagree that what he did was wrong.).
  by: skittlesloli   10/16/2009 03:35 AM     
this is dumb, shouldnt he by law have to grant the marriage license to them they are male and female afterall.
  by: willyshawker     10/16/2009 05:37 AM     
  The J.P.  
Took this PUBLIC service job. If he doesn't like it he should quit and stop insulting people he doesn't agree with.
  by: ichi     10/16/2009 06:01 AM     
If you can't ride in the front of this bus you can always ride in the next one?
  by: ichi     10/16/2009 06:03 AM     
  I say  
If Mr.Bardwell feels that strongly about who he will or won't marry I think he should give up being the JOP and become a non-denominational pastor and then perform weddings that way. I can see telling your child one day "Well Mr.Bardwell didn't think your daddy and I would have a good marriage and it would cause you problems." Yeah I don't think that is gonna work that well.
  by: TaraB     10/16/2009 06:24 AM     
If there are no other seats and you're not pregnant/disabled/injured/old (front of bus is priority seating) then you either can stand, ask someone to give up their seat or wait for the next bus.

However, since we're talking about a service being refused(rather than being unavailable due to demand like your sentence implies); a better analogy would be the driver refusing to let you sit in the front of the bus, in which case you could complain to the apathetic customer service representative and wait for the next bus in hopes that your desired seat is available.
  by: skittlesloli   10/16/2009 07:09 AM     
But this isn't a bus, a stylist or a restaurant - is it? The man's a Justice of the Peace, though I don't see how he can remain one for much longer. You said you don't disagree that what he did was wrong, so what exactly is your position?
  by: rcavi     10/16/2009 09:22 AM     
  OK ...  
what about judges that won't give people custody because they think the child would be worse off or doctors who wont operate because they think the person would have no quality of life?

Its a judgment call.

Im not defending the guy, I havent given an opinion. Im just saying that maybe a step back would be handy at this point and look it at from his point of view and armed with the information he has.
  by: AccessG     10/16/2009 10:54 AM     
I see where you're coming from, but we must appreciate that when it comes to custody judges do have a legal right - and indeed duty - to make a judgement call. The position is much the same for doctors.

I think the essence of the argument is perhaps whether the Justice of the Peace has a right to refuse to act. The answer to this is probably yes... and indeed we appreciate that there is a judicial concept of conflict of interest. That said, there is no conflict of interest in this instance.

There is also a judicial concept of the duty to act in society's best interests. Here, the Justice of the Peace may perhaps be on firmer ground, though perhaps a decision like this is not his to make.

A Justice of the Peace also has a duty to uphold the highest standards of professional conduct. The decision he has made arguably draws him into disrepute.

It's likely we wouldn't be having this debate right now if he'd just pulled a sicky. Perhaps he should campaign for his cause outside of court and not exploit it to publicise his (controversial) position.
  by: rcavi     10/16/2009 12:38 PM     
  How is this different?  
How is this different than a pharmacist who refuses to fill a birth control prescriptions on moral grounds?

As long as there is another justice of the peace available to perform the ceremony I don't see this as different really.

And for the comment about judgment calls being a judges job think about that for a minute, you'll probably realize a justice of the peace IS a judge (aka justice). This judge is making a judgment call and appears to recuse himself from forming unions he has reason to believe will be harmful one way or another.

I'm not saying I agree with his judgment, simply that I understand it.

On the other hand, if there are no other justices available (just like no other pharmacists available) then I think he should have an obligation to perform the ceremony because it would then become discrimination and cause hardship for this couple specifically because of their races.
  by: StringBlade   10/16/2009 01:49 PM     
because one's a pharmacist and the other is a judge.

we can all understand where the judge is coming from even if we don't agree with him... but he is certainly exceeding acceptable boundaries for his mandate here. to continue in the same vein: he could then refuse to marry ugly people to beautiful people, tall people to short, young people to old...

...his position as a judge is untenable
  by: rcavi     10/16/2009 02:06 PM     
that first sentence seemed a little rude when i re-read it. i don't think pharmacists should be able to refuse birth control pills either, but the point is: they're not part of the judicial system.
  by: rcavi     10/16/2009 02:07 PM     
  "I try to treat everyone equally"  
It's just that I treat some more equally than others.

George Orwell would be proud!
  by: philosoraptor   10/16/2009 02:51 PM     
From the source...

"He came to the conclusion that most of black society does not readily accept offspring of such relationships, and neither does white society,"

Yeah, that's really been a problem for, say, Barack Obama and Halle Berry.
  by: TygrHawk   10/16/2009 04:22 PM     
  Couldn't of he  
He just connected them, then gave a after thought or something, you know like a op-ed in local paper if he felt this strongly about miscegenation

LOWTF what a dufus.
  by: Mannyishere     10/16/2009 07:08 PM     
  And we continue to defend...  
Race? Relate:
"I do ceremonies for couples with active melanocytes right here in my house. My main concern is for the children," said Bardwell. "I don't do non-inbreeding marriages because i don't don't want to put children in a situation they didn't bring on themselves..."

Yea, that's what i heard...

Last week a friend of mine was caught taking a leak behind a dumpster after trying to find a functioning bathroom at a gas station and failing. Two security (off duty police officers) handcuffed him, beat him, held a gun to his head all the while telling him "You mexican's come here trying to treat this like it's a plantation", continued "I aught to shoot your spic ass right here!"... racist blah blah blah.

My friend was so taken aback because he's not mexican. And as he said permanently disturbed, "I thought that they were actually joking at first, because they were black."

Now, what the hell is that? Race theories at work! This is what inbreeding (race) does to people!
  by: mexicanrevolution   10/16/2009 07:52 PM     
  Lmao @ Ben.  
How elqentley
  by: captainJane     10/16/2009 10:07 PM     
  Lmao @ Ben.  
How eloquently put!
  by: captainJane     10/16/2009 10:09 PM     
My comment alluded to Rosa Parks, a colored lady that was told that she had to ride in the rear of the bus, the seats in the front were for whites only. Sh said no. She sat in the front of the bus and was arrested. She is an icon in civil rights.

This is the same kind of deal. If you allow it to happen because it is easier it will go on until challenged .
  by: ichi     10/16/2009 10:20 PM     
  Update on this story.....  
  by: Lurker     10/17/2009 04:56 AM     
  Thanks for the good news Lurker.  
I just wonder how many more of these long term incumbent bigots there are that we need to ferret out and remove...

I know my home state of Texas has a lot of them and no doubt my new state of residency has one less.

  by: bbeljefe     10/17/2009 06:00 AM     
  @rcavi and Ichi  
Firstly Rcavi, my post spoke of a janitor, just like BBs post, so one could conclude I was working off of BBs analogy. With BBs analogy I come to the conclusion that this is simply a refusal of a specific service, be it right or wrong, and with that in mind there is likely to be someone out there who will gladly give you the service you request. My point extends no further than that.

No one was arrested like Rosa Parks was. This couple wasn't arrested and they do not live in a culture where 100% of the JOPs around will refuse to marry them.

Of course the JOP is wrong, all I'm saying is that this couple needs to take their money and find a better JOP.

Sure file your complaint, he'll get in trouble for his personal beliefs (whether they be right or wrong) and we'll all give one big hurrah when the article of his punishment comes through and we'll all congratulate each other for ridding ourselves of the horrible scourge that was the anti-mixed-marriage-JoP. (ok that was my exaggeration, sorry, couldn't take it out)

In the meantime, Beth Humphrey and Terence McKay, find a JOP who will marry you and start your happy life together. What worse way to start a marriage than with a nice heaping load of drama?

You wanted to know my stance, there it is, pretty confusing I know.
  by: skittlesloli   10/18/2009 10:32 PM     
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