Shocking Racism

Mixed-Race Couple Denied Marriage License

An interracial couple was denied a marriage license by a Louisiana justice of the peace, Keith Bardwell, who said he turned them down out of concern for their potential children. Bardwell said he wasn’t racist and had done ceremonies for black couples in his house; he explained that his decision to deny a license to Beth Humphrey, 30, and Terence McKay, 32, of Hammond, Louisiana, was based on his personal observation that neither white nor black families are accepting of interracial kids. He also thinks interracial marriages don’t last. The ACLU is preparing a letter to the Louisiana Supreme Court seeking to get Bardwell removed, because “He knew he was breaking the law, but continued to do it,” an attorney for the group said. But Bardwell says he’s just putting the kids first: “I don’t do interracial marriages because I don’t want to put children in a situation they didn’t bring on themselves,” Bardwell says, adding that if he did one interracial marriage, he’d have to do them all. “I try to treat everyone equally.”