Interracial couple denied marriage license
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana justice of the peace said he refused to issue a marriage license 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.
“I’m not a racist,’’ Bardwell said. “I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way. I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them like everyone else.’’
Bardwell said he asks everyone who calls about marriage if they are a mixed-race couple. If they are, he does not marry them, he said. He said he has discussed the topic with blacks and whites, along with witnessing some interracial marriages.
“It is really astonishing and disappointing to see this come up in 2009,’’ said American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana attorney Katie Schwartzmann.