"I try to treat everyone equally," he said.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Associated Press: HAMMOND, La. - A Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage
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.
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. (more)
LSB: With two wars and the fight in Congress over health care, the White House has too much on its plate to worry about gay marriage, but let's see how long it takes the Department of Justice to get involved with a case that appears to affect only a few couples in some backwater Louisiana town.