The Governor of Louisiana has called for the dismissal of a justice of the peace who refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple. The story is one that has shocked quite a few people around the country, and at the same time shown that some people still have a ways to go in order to accept other human beings. Governor Bobby Jindal has stated to CNN that the state judiciary committee should review the incident because it is a clear violation of constitutional rights and federal and state law. He is joining many other people who feel that swift action needs to be taken against this justice of the peace.
The story at the heart of this debate is that an interracial couple wanted to get married and approached Tangipahoa Parish justice of the peace Keith Bardwell to receive a marriage license. They were refused the license, and according to this story were told that he won’t support interracial marriages because he doesn’t feel that black or white society will accept the children of the couple once they are born. It’s a harsh statement, and one that many people have been calling racist in the news. This is 2009, and it’s unbelievable that a justice of the peace, basically working for the state of Louisiana, would refuse a marriage based on the races of the participants.
It was supposed to be an extremely happy moment for Beth Humphrey and her boyfriend Terence McKay, who are both from Louisiana as well. Instead it turned into a nightmare where a state official has denied them the ability to get married simply because the color of their skin differs. It’s certainly a slap in the face to race rights in this country, and something that the state needs to take swift action against possibly happening again to someone else. It’s very good news that the Governor is leading the charge against rectifying this situation, and hopefully that means that something is going to get done very soon in this case.
Senator Mary L. Landrieu issued her own statement to CNN, saying that the committee for the state should use its authority to have Justice Bardwell dismissed from his position. Bardwell has still not returned calls to be interviewed himself by CNN, but it speaks volumes that the political leaders from both sides of the aisle are standing together to say that behavior like this from a justice is unacceptable. There doesn’t seem to be much ground for Bardwell to stand on in this case, and the state needs to act immediately to have him stripped of his rights as a justice if he is going to abuse his power like this.
Governor Calls For Firing
Original Story on Justice Marriage Refusal