Illegal and Racist! But it Happened Anyway: Interracial Couple Denied Marriage License

October 16, 2009

Gay Rights March--Our Marriage Was OnceIn Louisiana this week, Beth Humphrey and Terence McKay were denied their right to marry by justice of the peace Keith Bardwell because they are an interracial couple (she is white and he is black). Bardwell stated that he would not marry the couple because he was afraid for the children the union may create, because he has come to the conclusion that interracial children are not accepted by either black or white culture. Bardwell said that he’s not a racist, BUT he “just [doesn’t] believe in mixing the races that way.”

Humphrey and McKay are not the first interracial couple he has refused to marry, as he told reporters that every time someone calls on him to marry them he first asks if they are a mixed race couple, if they are, he refuses to sign their license, estimating that he has refused to marry about four couples in his career. By doing this, he was breaking the law, as the Louisiana “Supreme Court ruled in 1967 that ‘the government cannot tell people who they can and cannot marry.'” The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana has gotten involved, asking for the Louisiana Judiciary Committee to investigate Bardwell’s case, looking for “the most severe sanctions available.”

What do you think? Are you surprised to see this still happening 40 years after the Civil Rights movement?

I was surprised, though upon thinking about it, it’s not that surprising–I know that racism still exists in the United States, and I know the nation doesn’t provide marriage rights to everyone (last weekend there was a National Equality March for that very reason… 20 Best Signs Here).

Source: Yahoo! News