Many of you have probably seen the story by now. In Louisiana, justice of the peace Keith Bardwell has declined to marry a couple based on their races. He then referred them to another justice who would marry them. According to Bardwell, he does not believe in interracial marriage because of the issues that can come up with the children. He claims that neither White nor Black communities are accepting of mixed race children, and he will therefore not be a part of the system that allows those children to be born.
While the Bardwell was able to send the couple away, he may not have been within his rights to do so. The couple is now considering filing a discrimination complaint against him. The couple has since married and say that they are looking forward to having children. They also say that their friends, both Black and White, have been supportive and show no signs of future ostracizing of any children.
This story begs a question about how far the country has really come in the racism department. While many of us would like to think that it is an issue of the past, it does crop up more often than we would like. In fact, the justice in question has denied four couples marriage licenses over the last two and a half years based on race.
Bardwell has denied any allegations of being racist and says that he denies the couples because many of those relationships do not last and because the children can face problems in their communities.
We can hope that an appropriate solution to this problem will come about sooner than later. The ACLU has asked the Louisiana Judiciary Committee to take the most severe actions against Bardwell because of his “blatant bigotry”.
In cases like this, it is often necessary to set things right through litigation of some sort. In some cases racism is dealt with in court while in others, like this one, it is dealt with through the Judiciary Committee.
Check out the full story here.