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  1. #1
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    Default Interracial Couple Denied Marriage License

    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.

    "I do ceremonies for black couples right here in my house," Bardwell said. "My main concern is for the children."

    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.

    "I don't do interracial marriages because I don't want to put children in a situation they didn't bring on themselves," Bardwell said. "In my heart, I feel the children will later suffer."

    If he does an interracial marriage for one couple, he must do the same for all, he said.

    "I try to treat everyone equally," he said.

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

    Humphrey told the newspaper 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.

    "It is really astonishing and disappointing to see this come up in 2009," said American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana attorney Katie Schwartzman. "The Supreme Court ruled as far back as 1963 that the government cannot tell people who they can and cannot marry."

    The ACLU was preparing a letter for the Louisiana Supreme Court, which oversees the state justices of the peace, asking them to investigate Bardwell and see if they can remove him from office, Schwartzman said.

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

    The Associated Press: Interracial couple denied marriage license in La.
    Anyone want to bet this dude has a stormfront membership?

  2. #2
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    Insane.

  3. #3
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    One of my biracial friends sortakinda shares this POV. (I would like to state that I don't, I just find it interesting that he does, as a biracial person.)

    He hates the culture clash between his paternal and maternal families.
    Example: Corporal punishment is completely normal from his paternal culture, and he agrees with this, but hates to admit in white culture that he feels his dad raised him right that way. He hates hiding what's acceptable in one culture from the other, and he gave a whole list of stuff he feels he needs to keep quiet about one side when spending time with the other side (there were lots of things both ways).
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

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    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    The last thing we need is bunch of half breed children running around loose, and then growing up and getting involved in politics...

    Oops, too late.
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  5. #5
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    He hates the culture clash between his paternal and maternal families.
    Isn't that still cultural, not racial.

    Also, some of those things sound familiar in my family, the having to "hide" things so everything looks "nice" instead of just dealing with what people are. We are all the same skin color (albeit different nationalities, which humans all pretend is the same since the skin color is the same). That situation sounds more dysfunctional than even cultural, actually.

  6. #6
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elaur View Post
    Isn't that still cultural, not racial.

    Also, some of those things sound familiar in my family, the having to "hide" things so everything looks "nice" instead of just dealing with what people are. We are all white. It sounds more dysfunctional than even cultural, actually.
    I would agree with you, I can just hear him saying something like this:
    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.

    "I don't do interracial marriages because I don't want to put children in a situation they didn't bring on themselves," Bardwell said. "In my heart, I feel the children will later suffer."
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  7. #7
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    Interesting, but the justice seems to have overstepped his bounds as a legal agent. Pretending to be a matchmaker perhaps? The court will squash him.

    Also interesting how the justice feels that marriage is tied to having children somehow. Like that'll stop anyone. Such old style thinking.

  8. #8
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    Hope he gets fired. He is being paid by public taxes. He doesn't have the right to deny marriages based on his personal feelings.

  9. #9
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    Eh, my parents used to say that about if I dated a black guy. (horrors!!!!) But I'm raising kids, nothing is easy no matter what skin color anyone is.

    Actually blaming things that are dysfunctional in your family on race is about the same as blaming a dysfunctional family on divorced home. I can't tell you how many times I heard about how screwed up our family was from some adults in my family because we were from a divorced home. It was because they fked up dealing with being through a divorce.

  10. #10
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    I don't doubt that the justice had good intentions. He genuinely believes that the children produced in such a marriage will be at a disadvantage. But I think he needs to realize that what he did was beyond the scope of his authority.

    Besides, one could easily apply this kind of reasoning to disallow two people who carry a gene for a genetic illness to marry. And his argument clearly doesn't apply if one of them were infertile or had been sterilized. What if their plan is to adopt? Where do we draw the line?

    In short, I don't think he's a racist. I think he just applied his personal experiences, made a judgment call without careful reasoning or understanding of the implications, and didn't take proper regard for his level of authority in relation to existing law.

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