Keith Bardwell, a white justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish in the southeastern part of the state, refused to issue a marriage license earlier this month to Beth Humphrey, who is white, and Terence McKay, who is black. His refusal has prompted calls for an investigation or resignation from civil and constitutional rights groups and the state's Legislative Black Caucus. Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal said in a statement a nine-member commission that reviews lawyers and judges in the state should investigate.
Justices Thomas, Alito Blast Supreme Court Decision On Same-Sex Marriage Rights
Interracial Marriage Judge Keith Bardwell Looking for New Job - CBS News
On July 11, , newlyweds Richard and Mildred Loving were asleep in bed when three armed police officers burst into the room. The couple were hauled from their house and thrown into jail, where Mildred remained for several days, all for the crime of getting married. At that time, 24 states across the country had laws strictly prohibiting marriage between people of different races. Five weeks earlier, the longtime couple had learned Mildred was pregnant and decided to wed in defiance of the law. In , they approached the American Civil Liberties Union to fight their case in court.
Gay Judge Refuses to Marry Straight Couples
A white US justice of the peace has been criticised for refusing to issue marriage licences to mixed-race couples. Keith Bardwell, of Tangipahoa Parish in Louisiana, denied racism but said mixed-race children were not readily accepted by their parents' communities. A couple he refused to marry are considering filing a complaint about him to the US Justice Department. Mr Bardwell, who has worked in the role for 34 years, said that in his experience most interracial marriages did not last very long and estimated that he had refused applications to four couples in the past two-and-a-half years. He said he had "piles and piles of black friends" but just did not believe in "mixing the races".
Hundreds of same-sex couples married in Alabama on Monday, surrounded by rainbow flags and cheering supporters, as a disparate map of marriage equality emerged in the state in which dozens more were denied the right to marry by state judges who refused to obey a federal order to allow such weddings. Alabama is legally the 37th state to allow same-sex marriage, but couples like Robert Povilat and Milton Persinger spent the day frustrated outside a courthouse because a county judge refused to abide by the ruling. Mobile County judge Don Davis closed his office doors and windows for more than two hours on Monday, eventually opening for people seeking other services like deeds. Meanwhile, Povilat said he and about a dozen others were still waiting in line at 3pm local time because Davis, like a number of other judges across the state, refused to issue marriage licenses.