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. 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.
2009 Louisiana interracial marriage incident
Judge Defends Denied Interracial Marriage - CBS News
A justice of the peace in Louisiana is facing disciplinary action after he refused to marry a mixed-race couple on the grounds that it would not be fair to any children they might have. They were the fourth interracial couple to whom he had declined to issue a marriage licence. Bardwell, who is white, insists he is not a racist and that his decision last week was governed by his concern that mixed-race children were shunned by both white and black communities. He told the Hammond Star: "I don't do interracial marriages because I don't want to put children in a situation they didn't bring on themselves. I feel the children will later suffer. He told the Associated Press: "I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way.
Judge Defends Denied Interracial Marriage
Bardwell, a justice of the peace for Tangipahoa Parish's 8th Ward, refused to issue a marriage license to Beth Humphrey, 30, and her boyfriend, Terence McKay, 32, both of Hammond. Bardwell's actions have elicited reactions from some top officials, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who called for Bardwell's dismissal. Bardwell has not returned repeated calls from CNN this week. But he told Hammond's Daily Star in a story Thursday that he did not marry the couple because he was concerned for the children who might be born of the relationship and that, in his experience, most interracial marriages don't last.
In October , Keith Bardwell, a Robert, Louisiana , Justice of the Peace , refused to officiate the civil wedding of an interracial couple because of his personal views, in spite of a United States Supreme Court ruling which prohibited restrictions on interracial marriage as unconstitutional. His action was widely criticized, and many public officials in Louisiana called for his resignation. He resigned on November 3, On October 6, an interracial couple, Beth Humphrey and Terence McKay, inquired of Bardwell, the justice of the peace for the 8th Ward of Louisiana's Tangipahoa Parish , about getting a marriage license signed. His wife Beth Bardwell reportedly told them that the justice "does not do interracial marriages".