Interracial couple denied marriage license in Louisiana community

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. I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way,” Bardwell told the Associated Press on Thursday. “I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just 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.

“I’ve been a justice of the peace for 34 years and I don’t think I’ve mistreated anybody,” Bardwell said. “I’ve made some mistakes, but you have too. I didn’t tell this couple they couldn’t get married. I just told them I wouldn’t do it.”

If he can’t follow the law, he shouldn’t be representing it. He should resign.

How can he say he’s not a racist?

“I’m not a racist. I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way,”

Even if he does have a problem with race and mixing races, as a judge, I don’t believe he has the right to deny a couple their right under the law because of his own personal bias.

As a participant in a interracial marriage, and as a citizen of Louisiana, I resent this judge’s ruling that interracial couples should not be married because it creates undue hardship on their children. If he is so concerned with the welfare of children born from interracial marriages, he should be aware that his own attitude toward the union of their parents makes it even more difficult for those children to make their way in the world. This man’s opinion is similar to the opinion of a doctor who favors aborting handicapped children because their handicapp creates undue hardship. Nonsense! The man should either resign or be recalled from his office.

I’m not racist.

Some of my best friends know black people. :rolleyes:

What a great guy he lets black people use his bathroom.:eek:

Wow just think if I lived there this guy wouldn’t marry me and my wife! Somebody need to tell him it’s the Twenty-First Century.

They need to fire this racist idiot!

Saddly this type of attitude is still strong all over America today…

I disagree. Do you have some facts? I do not believe America is a racist country.

I agree with you. I don’t believe America is racist. Some of my very best friends are of a different race than me and I am proud to be their friend. I judge a person based on the content of their character and what they do, not on what society thinks, skin color or some other illogical basis.

But your actions and attitudes as an individual do not translate to the US as a whole.Certainly racial profiling, as occurs daily with law enforcement, is an example of the ongoing racism in our country. Structural racism does exist.

“I’m not a racist. I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way”

“I ain’t no bigot. I’m the first guy to say that it ain’t you’re fault youse are colored.”–Archie Bunker.:rolleyes:


I’m gobsmacked. Completely without words on this one.

I’m sorry, what race is our President? Is that race in the majority or minority in the US?

Of course racism still exists, but its certainly not prevalent enough to make someone declare that we live in a racist country.

And how man call him the N-word and cheif? Trust me I hear it almost daily here.

Plus recent news reports indicate since his election the KKK and National Socialist Movement (American Nazis) are gaining new recruits rapidly.

I agree that the US is not a racist country, even though racism exists.

Someone who does racist acts or says racist things is not a racist… he is someone who has committed racism. Similarly, someone who does evil things or says evil things is not evil, he is someone who has committed evil. We need to avoid judgmental over-generalizations, while still calling out the injustices which occur.

Slapping a label such as “racist” or “evil” on a person or a country is not only inaccurate and unfair, it shuts down communication.

I heard on the news that the Governor is asking for this guy to resign!:thumbsup:

Should have happened years ago!!!

I just want to say I really admire this statement - I really believe it but it seems no one does. The US cannot be racist because the US is not one thing by any means. It is made up of many people. Some share the beliefs of this guy, some have even more racist beliefs that include violence etc, some people support interracial marriage but still strongly hold racial stereotypes or engage in racial profiling, and some people aren’t racist at all. There’s all sorts of differences in everyone, and no one can really be covered by one label - even the worst of the people often have some good qualities, an vice versa.

For example, I strongly disagree with this guy’s actions, but maybe he does a lot of good work in other areas. I would express my beliefs to him that he is being discriminatory and encouraging horrible attitudes, but I wouldn’t tell him nothing he does means anything because he’s a “racist” and that’s all there is to him. We need to be able to discuss such horrible attitudes and ideas without resulting to labeling in order to make everything easy for us to process and end any real debate.

Maybe if someone explained to him that the best way to help kids who have parents of different races is to encourage acceptance and celebration of such relationships, he would change his mind a lot faster than simply throwing him under the bus for his attitudes and allowing his ideas to continue and perhaps intensify due to what he sees as people misunderstanding him. I see too much judgment here and everywhere instead of really trying to understand and solve problems.

It cuts both ways. Years ago I go h-ll for not wanting to date a black woman, outside of my race. This also prove geovernement shouldn’t be involved in marriage.

Would you be willing to explain this point a bit more?

I submit the following for your consideration: profiling by race is not necessarily racist. For example, if a search for a murderer who is known to be Hispanic, no one would stop those of Indian, African or Irish descent unless the individual of these backgrounds appeared Hispanic. In this example case, this has nothing to do with racism.

Indeed, in cases of a known crime, stopping and questioning persons who fit the description of the criminal is justified. However, racial profiling, as I understand it, involves stopping persons on some minor infraction (or none at all), without the police having any knowledge of a crime having been committed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit