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Louisiana Justice of the Peace Refuses to Issue Marriage License to Interracial Couple

This is a story we’ve been watching simmer for a few days now. Keith Bardwell, a Louisiana Justice of the Peace, refused to issue a wedding license to a couple last week because they are an interracial couple. Predictably, this has not set well with groups like the ACLU and NAACP. Now, Bardwell has spoken out and given his reason.

Bardwell says he is not a racist, but that he is concerned that children of interracial couples do not easily integrate into society and that he doesn’t want to be a part of putting a child through that. He notes that he has “piles” of black friends and that he’s married black couples in his own home in the past, but that he’s always refused to marry interracial couples. Bardwell acknowledges that he has been warned by the state’s Attorney General in the past that he would eventually get into trouble for not performing interracial weddings, but has said that he will resign before endorsing such a marriage.

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Posted by on October 16, 2009. Filed under Home,Legal News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
  • Anonymous

    I just love how this man is using ” protection” and “child’s best interest” as reason to not marry interracial couples. The reality is anyone that says they have “loads” of friends of a particular race are 9 times out of 10 racist. I’m disgusted that this man hasn’t lost his right to practice law–for God’s sake he’s breaking it! Denying a man and woman, regardless of race, is a violation of human rights ( in my opinion) and should be treated as such! Saying that the children would suffer is a disgraceful and tasteless statement. Our President is interracial! Heck, he’s a southern White male, he may even be interracial himself! I’m simply disgusted that in a country as innovative as this one we are still dealing with such menial issues , like race.

  • Anonymous

    Keith Bardwell is NOT an attorney and not a member of our Bar. In the state of Louisiana, one does not have to be an attorney to run for the office of Justice of the Peace. In Louisiana, a Justice of the Peace can be a person totally inexperienced and unqualified to practice law; yet, if elected, that JP shall be allowed and charged to ADMINISTER the law.

    It definitely makes one think. Sincerely, LALawyer

 

 

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