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October 17th, 2009
04:51 AM ET

Interracial Couple Denied Marriage License - Your thoughts?

The actions of a justice of the peace in Louisiana who refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple have prompted some top officials to call for his dismissal.

A whole lot of folks have had a whole lot to say about this story. Leave your comments below. We may use some of them this morning in the CNN Newsroom.

Join Betty Nguyen and TJ Holmes in the CNN Newsroom, beginning 6am ET/ 3am PT.

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soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. Alheli Picazo ("Ala-Lee Picasso"), Calgary, Alberta, Canada

    It's great that there has been so much outrage over this travesty, but it leaves me wondering...what's the difference between this couple and the thousands of same sex couples who are denied marriage every day?

    This situation shows that marriage is a human right, and ever person has the right to marry theperson of their choosing, whether or not others agree with your decision or not.

    This couple has every right to be married, as does every human being.

    It's time that marriage was defines as the union of two people....period. No mention of race, gender, or other discriminatory factors. The final words on this issue is long overdue.

    October 17, 2009 at 4:57 am |
  2. Andrew D.

    This event is a bleak reminder of the amount of work still needed to evolve the mental state of Middle America. Too often justice is fought for along the coast, focusing on the middle will bring tolerance and acceptance full circle for not only interracial couples, but same-sex ones as well.

    October 17, 2009 at 5:04 am |
  3. Robert B.

    Some justice of the peace will not perform a marriage if the couple has lived together before getting married.
    I feel this justice of the peach has the right to choose to marry who he wants,this is still suppose to be a free country and if he doesn't want to be a part of a interracial marriage,then he has the right to not be a part of it wether some people like it or not.
    I am also sure he is not the only one out there being black or white that refuses to marry a interracial couple.

    October 17, 2009 at 5:32 am |
  4. Ranciel


    October 17, 2009 at 6:13 am |
  5. Leslie Clark

    Well TJ, if this JP has been known to DENY inter-racial marriages, then WHY DID THIS COUPLE go to him? I am not condoning the Judges stand on this (although he IS allowed his opinions)...but
    Right, wrong, or otherwise, the couple MUST have known ?!!!
    Do they just want their mugs on television?
    Begs questions.

    October 17, 2009 at 6:33 am |
  6. Robert Lake,MI

    Why is it ok for black men to be with white women when black women are forbidden to date white men? I know this because I live with both races and in black culture hee in the US, black women get beat for even thinking about dating a white man. Purely a double standard! I once went to a dance club where about 90% were black. I have no problem with that at all but when I persued dancing with a black chick she told me she would love to dance but if the brothers saw her dancing with a white guy she would get beat up for race trading. My question to CNN is why is it ok for a minority to date a white women but its not ok generally for white men to date any other race? Do the right thing CNN and make a report of that, its real easy to cherry pick your stories because it involves a white judge. People are racist no matter what color they are, being a minority does not give you the right to run white people into the ground while letting minorities go for the same offenses!

    October 17, 2009 at 6:33 am |
  7. Roberto Lequeux

    Either he gets fired, or the person responsible for doing it needs to get the boot.

    Are you serious?! 30 years? As a matter of fact, the person responsible for relieving him HAS to get fired.

    October 17, 2009 at 6:43 am |
  8. Tina

    What a shame! When will people realize that we are all equal and can choose to marry whom we love. This guy is living in a bubble and his personal opinions should not influence the decision of his position. He needs to be removed. Thank you.

    October 17, 2009 at 6:46 am |
  9. Nick Martin

    Wow. reminds me alot of me not being aloud to get married because I'm gay.

    October 17, 2009 at 6:47 am |
  10. Rob Hartung

    What is color?What is a heart?What is in the Heart is what Counts! That Justice of the Peace should be thrown right out of office and out of the country as far as Im concerned! This is totally absurd,ridiculous and UNFAIR!

    October 17, 2009 at 6:49 am |
  11. francie

    are justices of the peace appointed to carry out their own agendas or is the law of the land their motivation? will the decision making stipulation of their jobs/appointments be broaden to incorporate a narrow focus based on the laws of the land or proven fact? If allowed why do we need judges or the supreme courts.

    October 17, 2009 at 6:50 am |
  12. Glenn Bisogno

    It’s pretty sad that racism is so blatant in 2009. This same official probably thinks separate but equal should be returned to America’s schools and water fountains. Keith Bardwell needs to be removed from office and should be prosecuted.

    October 17, 2009 at 6:50 am |
  13. timon

    Just keep calling out people like this (judge) and keep following up. Can’t you editors and producers keep the fire on the bad people like this until there is a change… or will you guys let it fizzle and this racist pigs will keep doing what he’s doing for the next 30yrs… it’s really up to you guys. please don’t let this guy and story off the hook

    October 17, 2009 at 6:52 am |
  14. David

    I live in Dallas, Texas and I see alot of interracial marriages. I personally don't care one way or the other. I would prefer people didn't because I think it's gross. I could NEVER have sex with a person who is black. NO WAY! But different strokes for different folks. Being sexually attracted to someone because of their skin color comes from within and is NOT racially motivated. You can't tell someone who they can be sexually attracted to.

    October 17, 2009 at 6:53 am |
  15. bill shipley

    I agree that the Justice of the Peace was wrong. However, now the country knows how Gay couples in the United States feel. At least the town didn't get to vote rather they should be married. Maybe if there was this much outrage about us we would be able to get married.

    October 17, 2009 at 6:54 am |
  16. Hannah

    Two months ago I married a man of another race. We live in the south, and the racism we face everyday is unbelievable. I cannot imagine how hurtful it would be to be denied a marriage license based on race. We were frustrated and hurt when we had a difficult time finding a church that would allow us to be married there (we come from two different religious backgrounds). I hope that action will be taken against him because racism should not be tolerated from someone who is a public official because it makes people think that it is okay to treat us negatively.

    October 17, 2009 at 6:57 am |
  17. Kevin Frost

    From a homosexual couple, now you know what we have been going through. One person, or groups, beliefs outweigh the individual freedoms of citizens. As recently as the 1960's interracial marriages were outlawed in many parts of this country. The same arguments made then against interracial marriage are the same as current arguments against gay marriage. We have had our rights stripped away. Be careful, as this situation clearly illustrates, the same thing can happen to anyone.

    October 17, 2009 at 6:59 am |
  18. Paul Ojeikere, Lagos Nigeria

    Clearly, bardwell is one mean badie. That he's playing the cleansing Messiah to willing inter-racial adults is not the biggest surprise. The fact that he's gotten away with a bigotry of such a monumental proportion for so long is what baffles the imagination. Only in a Southern state which is typically known to support this sort of framework can this happen. My bet is past reports of Bardwell's abuse had been shoved into the trash can in the past by the law enforcement agencies.

    October 17, 2009 at 7:08 am |
  19. Richard Walker

    We've been married for 25 years, the mostobjection was from The black women, and relatives. Oddly, the only overt disapproval was from 2 black women, asking for donations at the Atlanta airport. In my case the usual reaction was," way to go, brother" from the men, and "traitor" from the women. I have seenso many mixed couples here in Florida that It's no longer a novelty. I am astounded that such an attitude still exists within our legal authorities.

    October 17, 2009 at 7:13 am |
  20. Russell Mahrt Sr

    This judge has not only violated the law and foisted his beliefs on the community, but he has denegrated every interracial marriage and bi-racial person in the country. How dare he? How dare he show such contempt for humanity by being that STUPID? I would hope that the State of Louisiana and the people of the community would stand up against this blatant bigotry. If they don't, they will be branded again as a backward entity. That in itself will prove that label.

    October 17, 2009 at 7:20 am |
  21. Pauly

    I heard there have been 4 other instances of him refusing to marry inter-racial couples. Why hasn't anyone acted before? This JOP has no right to hold any pubic office. He states he has piles of black friends who use his bathroom. They must not be good enough to break bread in his dining room or watch a footbal game in his living room.
    I have heard many people state the couple just needs to get married elsewhere, which they have now done. The Constitution & laws of this country apply to Americans everywhere & no American should be told to find their rights elsewhere! And any official who denies any American such rights should be removed from office immediately. The JOP violated the oath he took to respect & protect the law & the Constituion!!!

    October 17, 2009 at 7:27 am |
  22. L. Bryant

    I'm a black woman and I view interracial relationships the same as I do same sex relationships. Both seem completely unnatural to me, but that's my feeling and I wouldn't try to project it on anyone else. Is that racism? I'm not sure. I can't help what feels unnatural to me anymore than I can help what feels natural to me. The same can be said for any of us. It can be argued that I should open my mind and embrace diverse relationships. I've come a long way towards that. But I think it can also be argued that people (black, white and other) should confront issues that they have with their own race and background and why those issues cause them to look outside their culture for intimate relationships. While I think most reasonable people would agree that relationship choices are solely up to the individuals involved, there are some good conversations to be had about how those choices are made. Right or wrong, I'm not as angry with the Justice of the Peace as others seem to be.

    October 17, 2009 at 7:29 am |
  23. Shay

    I am appalled to know that there are still people around, in this day and age that are this racist and so open and brazen about it. How can he make such imbecilic remarks about interracial marriages and children of these marriages when his world clearly does not stretch beyond his ignorance? My husband and I are in an interracial marriage, and we have been happily married for almost 17 years. We have three adorable biracial daughters who are honor students and the pride of their schools. His supposition about interracial marriages being automatically doomed is erroneous and the stupid comment about interracial children not being happy and accepted is just plain ludicrous. Does this guy live under a rock? Does he know that the President of the United States is the result of an interracial relationship? This anti-Semitic culprit needs to be removed from his position forthwith, or society would have been regressed to where we were several hundred years ago.

    October 17, 2009 at 7:55 am |
  24. Marcus

    He shouldn't have a job. It is really simple. There is a federal statute that prohibits that type of discrimination, so he is violating federal law, and should not have that job.

    October 17, 2009 at 8:03 am |
  25. michael hardinger

    Give the guy a chance and a new title.
    Justice of Stupidity
    Justice of Racism
    Justice of the Ol South?

    Michael Hardinger.

    October 17, 2009 at 8:04 am |
  26. Sharon,Daniel Island, South Carolina

    New Orleans has a long history of interracial relationships, the french and the spanish kept detailed records of there relationships an offspring . I wonder is this person has been burned by a person of color and is know projecting his negative experience on others.

    October 17, 2009 at 8:11 am |
  27. joyce

    Hi Betty!
    I have biracial children of which their dad is Black and I am Asian. Someone needs to educate or make this Justice of the Peace cognizant of what's going on currently appertain interracial relationships. His refusal on marrying an interracial couple is nothing but CHICANERY, just another way of camouflaging that he is indeed a "racist". My children excel in school academically as well as in sports and I have yet to hear from them that they have been discriminated because they're of mixed heritage!! What cave or rock did this JOP hibernate from?

    October 17, 2009 at 8:11 am |
  28. Mzrose

    I am not surprised... This is "Louisiana".
    A racist state.

    October 17, 2009 at 8:13 am |
  29. Monica Hirsch

    We all new to grow out of this differences and start respecting peoples choices. It is time for all of us to come together as one, and start helping each other, after all we are all human beings with the right to make our own choices regardless of skin color, accent or disability. It always amaizes me how we waiste so much time trying to push our own preferences into each other...Live and let live

    October 17, 2009 at 8:15 am |
  30. Erik

    Wow it is unbelieveable to see our nation still thinking this way, especial with our own president being born to a multiracial family (such as my self as well). I am outraged with indivduals who still think this way, haven't we come far enough. I strongly agree with the gov. of La in wanting to fire the individual for not wedding the couple. It makes me worried to raise my own family since I am apart of a multiracial family n proud of it. THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS! Im sure all mixed citizens can agree.

    October 17, 2009 at 8:18 am |
  31. Brenda

    This racist pig is simply an idiot. Unfortunatly he is an idiot with some power. Worse yet, you know there are more just like him, in a power position, going unidentified, dealing out their own brand of justice. I hope "his kind" are starting to feel the heat. All people should have the right to marry the person of their choice. Whether it is a him/him, her/her or a he/she couple. Love is love and frankly, divorce in this country is blind to color and/or sexual orientation.

    October 17, 2009 at 8:21 am |
  32. diana in atlanta

    I am the mother of 3 multiracial children–my son is a long serving high ranking member of our military–he has served our country bravely in mulitple deployments to the middle east. my daughters have college degrees and are loving, well rounded women-the justice of the peace in LA needs to go! his mind set is dangerous and untrue and he should not represent our legal system

    October 17, 2009 at 8:21 am |
  33. Robert

    He is breaking the law and should be punished. The couple should sue this justice of the peace and he should be removed from his position. One reason why practices like this continue is due to lack of punishment.

    A person who chronically speeds tends to slow down when hit with a $300.00 summons!!!

    October 17, 2009 at 8:23 am |
  34. S.sandy

    I am appalled that this couple is making a big deal out of this or is it the media who are looking for contraversial subjects to bring to the forefront. GO TO A JUSTICE WHO WILL MARRY THEM!! Are you really looking for this Justice to be fired?Yet another person out of work!!! This is the man's vocation!! If it is law then let this Justice be counseled about it but do not start gossip about this Justice being asked to look for another vocation. Why don't the media look for other Justice's in the area where the couple comes from and if they have all their duck's in a row legally then marry!!

    October 17, 2009 at 8:39 am |
  35. Marcus

    The Morehouse story is discriminatory, and yeah the school has history. I went to a school that had a lot of history, but you are trying to tell adults that pay to go to the school that they can not express themselves. That is a violation of free speech, and I do not agree with you TJ and Betty. I went to school with men who wore women's clothing and women that wore men's clothing, but they did not do that in interviews for jobs. You are not getting paid to go to college it is the other way around.

    October 17, 2009 at 8:46 am |
  36. Henry

    Doesn't seem to matter what year we are in, just stories like this keep surfacing.

    Heck, based upon this we should all just wait for the furor to start about Betty and TJ being an inter racial CNN news team.

    Pretty sad

    October 17, 2009 at 8:52 am |
  37. Douglas Harris

    My wife and I shared in June our 45th wedding anniversary, after being denied a marriage license in Kansas City Missouri, and having a second (legal) ceremony performed in Kansas City, Kansas. We thought this kind of thing was gone forever. Get rid of this guy.

    Our children did just fine with their Caucasian-Oriental background. And now our daughter's grandchildren absolutely love their Chinese heritage, and could not imagine life without it.

    October 17, 2009 at 8:54 am |
  38. David Whitton

    This is absolutly ridiculous that this kind of racism happening in 2009. He should be imprisoned and made an example of for those who believe in similar ideas. This is racism at it's worst!

    October 17, 2009 at 8:59 am |
  39. Susan Scarpelli

    I am proud to live in a country where so many Americans are outraged by this offical's behavior; what I am disappointed in is that more Americans don't take the same stance and defend the right for gay and lesbian couples to marry. Is it okay that we defend an interracial heterosexual couples' right to marry but not a gay couples' right to marry? No, it is not okay, everyone's rights should count.

    October 17, 2009 at 8:59 am |
  40. Serena

    The sad but ironic issue that is evident here is that this Justice represents a segment of the population that is against socialized medicine. What he is attempting to do is socialize marriage and families.How would he feel is he were in need (let's say a surgery or a loan) and the physician or banker refused to help racists. I am sure we would hear much more outrage.
    Shame on you.. even the Bible says "marriage is honorable".

    October 17, 2009 at 9:00 am |
  41. scott

    only in the south and its backwards mentality..with a few exceptions Atlanta ,Charlotte,MIAMI..which are very progressive be in southern states..he lets black use his restroom. if anybody questions rather or not racism is alive and kickin in 2009 better think again..amazing the type of thinkin that still exsists.. he shhould be jailed.

    October 17, 2009 at 9:01 am |
  42. logicman

    I see 13% of a country control the rest through intimidation. Think about it: As a Canadian watching your media, I would assume blacks make up 60, maybe 70% of your population, not slightly over 10%! "Black in America" should be "Black is America" , who cares if a person exercises his rights of free speech, they could simply go to another judge to get a license!
    You have a president who is as much white as he is black, yet, he is defined as black, as if someway, that black DNA eliminated the centuries of non black DNA he carries, the whole thing is sickening when you use your racist blood quorums for your native Americans and none of you give a squat about it...Open your eyes, the world is watching......

    October 17, 2009 at 9:01 am |
  43. Lawrence

    TJ, This is in reference to the dress code at Morehouse College. Although I do agree with your accessment of "wife beaters", and "doo-rags" being inappropriate, I do think you should be careful with all of your co-signing. I mean what happens when people find your overly tight suits offensive? What then? Will you adhere to a dress code? I think when you have the attitude of if they don't "dress like me it's inappropriate", eventually you will suffer from the same bias...eventually. I'm sure you haven't worn tight suits all your life. At some point I'm sure you attemptedto dress cool. And I mean tight not in the ebonics way.

    October 17, 2009 at 9:01 am |
  44. Eric


    October 17, 2009 at 9:01 am |
  45. Mary Bratz

    The wife of the Justice of the Peace claims their words were twisted. If that'sthe case, then, why don't they come forth and straighten it out?

    October 17, 2009 at 9:01 am |
  46. Chris Cruz

    So what's new? This is America people!

    The biggest hypocriscy on the planet, send our troops over to get killed fighting for 'freedom' in a foreign land, all the while deny basic freedoms and sensibilities here in our own country.


    Is this almost 2010, or am I dreamin'? Perhaps we're still in 1865.

    October 17, 2009 at 9:01 am |
  47. Kevin Swanson

    Betty, Tj and all my people

    All of you who think that because it's 2009 we should be more "advanced" in our social progress are seriously deluded. The racial divide is still there, and in some cases worse than ever.

    It will really take some major paradigm shift in our collective minds to jolt us out of caveman mode. (Independence Day anyone?)

    I remember Kirsten Harring, the first girl I ever fell in love with, my first day of kindergarden. Those feelings I had that whole first week of school; I would never want to deny those feelings to anyone anywhere for any reason.

    If more of us felt that way more of the time, this rock would be a nicer place to be crawling on.

    October 17, 2009 at 9:03 am |
  48. tlw

    I agree with Morehouse on the dress code. In a way it makes sense, because a person needs to be professional at all times. Someone from a job recruiting service may appear on campus. Walking around with pants hanging down and a gold grill does not look good.

    October 17, 2009 at 9:03 am |
  49. Gil McLean

    You will probably always find pockets of racism in this country. It isa religious problem and not a legal problem. You can keep passing laws until the cows come home but it won't help, as we have already found out. But as long as our country keeps trying to keep alive the fiction that God and attendance at church are optional, we will keep on finding pockets of racism.

    October 17, 2009 at 9:05 am |
  50. John Cusano

    This is the same discrimination that is occurring in the LGBT community. In the gay community this is the norm, and it is accepted as the standard. It doesn't seem so right now that it is happening to a heterosexual couple. At least there are not laws preventing them form getting married, unlike for myself.

    October 17, 2009 at 9:07 am |
  51. Doug

    I am 58 years old, my Father is Chinese, my Mother Irish/Scottish.
    I thought inter-racial marriage issues was old news, racism is insidious and cannot be stopped, just forgiven.
    Send the Justice of the Peace a 'Thank You' note for his consideration.

    October 17, 2009 at 9:09 am |
  52. Olive

    This is a big deal made of nothing. Some mixed-race (especially black and white in the South) children in the past have felt that they have never fit in with either group of people, causing all kinds of anguish in their lives because of attitudes of the people in that region, both black and white. This man (don't know how old he is) may have witnessed this anguish, living in that part of the country, and decided he could not contribute to it.. It is his right to feel this way, and I don't think it is racism. He may not understand that the times have changed. Many people in our country live in their own little world, in their own little communities, and have different views of what is right and wrong. Go to a Muslim community and preach homosexual marriage. If this man holds s a public position, simply take his license away and forget about it. The silly couple in the story could have just gone to the other justice, or anybody else would have married them. I think a big deal is made of nothing here, and alot of unnecessary hate towards him is stirred up. This type of story fits right into the left's agenda, and their hand-wringing over non-issues..

    October 17, 2009 at 9:10 am |
  53. Mike Simonato

    re Interracial marriage I too am in an interacial marriage. Most places will say publicly that they are not against interracial coupkles but the reality is different. I live in Canada & we went in a store to make a purchase & they wouldn't even ring in our order. Another place for interracial couples to avoid is Lynchburg Tenn. Very dangerous. The sad reality for interracial couples is you always have to be careful where you live & where you visit. Despite the lies told for TV cameras this is the reality. So Louisiana does't suprise me.

    October 17, 2009 at 9:10 am |
  54. headinjurykid

    The justice of the peace in Louisiana is pretty open minded. He said he even lets his black friends use the bathroom in his house. When my black friends have to go to the bathroom, I make them go outside.

    October 17, 2009 at 9:16 am |
  55. Wren

    Wow and people scream that having the Government anywhere near or close to running our lives would be hideous.

    I think we are being shown first hand just how States have been getting away with their own brand of justice and behind the woodshed law.

    This blatantly overlooks others freedom, for one mans view and beliefs. Did he by chance get a degree in psychology 101 at ACME along with his judicial papers? Also does he practice divorce at a discount rate if he married the couple?

    Lastly any time someone points out "they have friends that are of another color". To prove they are not racist? Trust me they are as racist as they come. I mean I'm white and I have loads of white friends, why I even let them use my bathroom!

    Naw that doesn't make me sound or come across racist once I say that, it puts everyone at ease and lets them know I am relaxed and comfortable with them in my bathroom. Lord this just goes to show any ignorant fool can be a justice of the peace and doll out anything but justice or peace. Latest malady to hit America its called Dyslexia.

    October 17, 2009 at 9:16 am |
  56. DEE


    October 17, 2009 at 9:18 am |
  57. Mel

    I agree what Robert B has writen...People do have the right in america to make a personal choice and the judge is no difference....What i would be looking at is his record on the bence...Has he treated casses differently...Now that would be against the law...If he has harsher punishments on the bench...Alot of white people in america have a bigotry towards blacks...WE see it in our politicians...I live in southern indiana and their is a mobil home park in my area that the owner of the park will not allow in people of color to stay their...and if the white people living their have any black friends come over they will give the people a warning about the people coming over and if it happens again the owner will evict you...and everybody knows this...Their was a sign out side a town called Utica indiana and when i was growing up they had a sign that said to blacks if you get caught in our town after dark you will not be seen again...I was told this sign was just took down in the mid 1990's...

    October 17, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  58. g lewis

    I think the lady knew how the justice of peace felt about interracial marrages before she contacted him. She said she researched him before she contacted him. I think it was all planed for publicity and maybe a lawsuit. I think the man has a right to make the call on whom he wants to perform marrages, even if he was elected.

    October 17, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  59. James jenkins

    Did the J.P. refuse to issue a marriage license, or did he refuse to perform the ceremony? Refusing to issue a license would be in violation of his duty as a Government official. Refusing to perform the ceremony is his moral prerogative. Catholic priests refuse to perform the ceremony between parties, if one is not of that faith. I have read this story both ways, I would like to know the "rest of the story".

    October 17, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  60. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    The situation is that although the actions taken by a justice of the peace in Louisiana who refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple. The couple has already found someone else to perform the marriage he refused. They should have found legal advice on this matter. His dismissal should be done or be taken to court the city and the state. ACLU should talk to this couple.

    October 17, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  61. luke

    not because america has a black president, that means that all racial issues are behind us,we still have a way to go,alot of people are still ignorant,its unfortunate though.

    October 17, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  62. Gary Smith

    With the judge refusing to marry an interacial couple, How many cases in the past did racism influence his decision on sentencing african-americans.

    October 17, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  63. Vic in Canada

    With this story & turning the tv on this week to see a "flying saucer" type thing in the sky (something from a bad sci-fi)....I had to check the calendar year.

    October 17, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  64. James

    This constant character assination of the Louisiana Justice of the Peace who would not bind the interracial couple in marriage is just another blatant slanting of the main stream media to draw attention to a dead issue. As the JOP said and I quote " I did not tell them that they could not get married, I just told them that I wouldn't do it." The media portrays this as a violation of the couples rights. Does the media need glasses to see that this is also a violation of the JOP's rights as well.

    October 17, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  65. Sharon

    I wonder what he would do if a gay couple asked him to marry them? I am against gay morality but not against the person. They only have to answer to One person at the end. I would say if the justice decided to marry a gay couple he is a racist.

    October 17, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  66. Ted

    You can now see despite any denials why people of faith are concerned about gay marriage. Would a Judge or any acting official who refuses to participate because it violates their religion be forced to act or be removed? And there is a huge difference between race and sexual behavior. No one has any choice what race they are born they do however have same say about who they sleep with. These are two separate issues which gay advocates hope to set up and use to blur the public conception. I admit some Christians have been bigoted on mixed marriage in the past. However they did so without any biblical basis. The bible is relatively quiet about skin color.

    October 17, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  67. Chandra

    I've been in an interracial relationship for 27 years and have 2 daughters. I'm struggling to relate to this because we have traveled all over the country and all over the world as a couple and a family and have never been refused or denied anything from housing to jobs to memberships to lodging because of our mixed marriage. Most of the time, people don't even look at us twice or maybe they're just good at hiding their curiosity. I'm wondering if this was just one crazy old coot or if somehow my husband and I have been in some sort of racist force field for all these years. I also wonder if it's different if the woman's black and the man is white as in our case and if the "black man ravaging the fair white maiden" thing might be behind a lot of this.

    October 17, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  68. Sam Miller

    The Louisiana Interracial Marriage

    Not surprisingly, this is the South and it could have been anywhere in the United States. I am however somewhat curious, had this been a Caucasian male and a Black female, would that have mattered?

    Sam Miller

    October 17, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  69. George Britton

    Two people were denied the right to get married. Welcome to “Being Gay in America” They had to cross the county line (parish line) to get hitched. For thousands of gay Americans they have to travel to other States or Countries to get married, and even then it is not recognized by our Federal Government or the majority of States in this country. The denial of this couples constitutional rights is sad, but at least they have the right under the constitution. Again, something denied to thousands of gay Americans who would want to get married.

    October 17, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  70. Susan Scarpelli

    Ted, every hear of that really crazy, way out there concept called "separation of church and state"? Try looking into it, it might clarify a few things for you. And just for the record, you cannot choose who you love, whether it be interracial, heterosexual ot homosexual. I'd love to see what cross you'll have to bear in your next'd better hope people are more tolerant of you than you are of them...turnabout is fair play my friend...

    October 17, 2009 at 1:39 pm |






    October 17, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  72. Wren

    As a member of the judicial system it is this man's responsibility and par of the requirement "not" to allow his personal feelings and or emotions to interfere with any case brought before him.

    So as to his freedom not to marry this couple. He should acquit himself of being a JOP.

    But then I forgot the hypocrisy of letting American's "think" they have freedoms has to be maintained, while the direct opposite is true.

    The freedom to live and speak as one wants in this country, as was set out and down when we separated from Great Britain has been greatly restrained and lately controlled by people of hate.

    The bible quoter's need to lay hands on the full unedited bible, not the King James version. At least you will be quoting the complete words and or scripture. edited and watered down versions never go far or carry any weight.

    The racist really need to catch up with the 21st century, not going to be long before you are the minority. Do you really want to learn first hand what you dished out?

    It doesn't matter what State, what matters is that it is happening still in this day and time in this "supposed" great country. leave your ego's at the door and just try viewing this as a human being. It might hit home and make more sense that way, or for some it might never.

    October 17, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  73. Henry C. Regusters III

    No Man or Women, should not be denied the right to married, due to race, color, religion, or nationality, and all other contituated circumstances that do not apply being that intimate relationships are not governed by law.

    October 17, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  74. K. Antoinette London

    I agree with some of the comments that have been posted. I honestly hate to say this, but instances like this are still going on. I can remember when President Obama was inaugurated, and so many people were saying that race relations would change because of who our President was. I am sorry to say this, but not much has changed, in my opinion. I am black, and I don't see a problem with the couple being married. I have many relatives who have chosen to marry outside of their races. Who cares if one is black and the other is white! The only thing that the couple wanted was to be married. Why obstruct their happiness????

    October 17, 2009 at 10:03 pm |
  75. Dodie ~ California

    Two people were denied the right to get married due to race. Welcome to the Southern States! So what else is new???

    And people think there is no racism in the USA! HA!!!!

    October 17, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  76. Beverly Sahin

    Scientists have proved irrefutably that human life evolved in East Africa and from there migrated in waves over thousands of years and populated the globe. This means we are all descended from black people, to include Rush Limbaugh and the racist justice of the peace in Louisiana who would not marry this couple. They, too, are descended from black people, and they'd better get used to it! An elderly white lady, I think these are exciting discoveries. I no longer see humans as "us" and "them." Now we are all "us" and I love it. When I see black people now, I just think to myself, "There's somebody whose ancestors left Africa a lot later than mine did." If there hadn't been any black people evolving in Africa, 200,000 years ago and earlier, there wouldn't be any white people now! Let's cut out all this ridiculous prejudice, folks.

    October 17, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  77. Kireilyn Barber

    This Bardwell stated he was "concerned for the children that might be born of this marriage." Concerned in what way? What is he implying here? That people of mixed race are somehow inherently not whole or complete? How about easily categorized ...? Exactly!! That is the genius of being an offspring of two (or more) different races, like my daughter. No one can place her, she's a beautiful mystery, and that is why I'm proud to say she is a mixed race person. She represents tolerance, acceptance, compassion and love among all people, and I'm so glad I contributed to this part of our social landscape. Best wishes to the married couple, and I'm sure your children will be beautiful and strong!

    October 17, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  78. Nathan

    I live in Louisiana and I seriously believe that this justice of the peace should be removed from office. First of all, this is the United States of America. This country was founded and has thrived on the principle of being the land of opportunity to people of all different nationalities and cultures. Their is a statue in New York's harbor to serve as reminder of that. Our society is one big mixed culture. You can't expect a good number of people in this country not to become somewhat interracially
    entwined in one way or another. That doesn't just include whites and blacks but a whole variety of nationalities and cultures. If this justice of the peace has a problem with that fact and the children that can spring from it, I don't see how he could be comfortable living in this country moreover serving in public office in this country. Yes, I feel he should be removed from office because he isn't serving anyone justice and the consequences of his actions are anything but peaceful.

    October 18, 2009 at 3:19 am |
  79. Jack

    Was a law broken? If so, let's get them in court and put in jail. If not, lets remember that people are stupid and that racism is bad.

    October 18, 2009 at 5:37 am |
  80. Vickie

    And this man's black robe has not been exchanged for an orange jumpsuit ! Because?

    October 18, 2009 at 6:18 am |
  81. Rebecca Potts Baker

    This Justice of the Peace (and I use that term loosely) is a bigot – period – no question mark. His refusal to resign only reinforces this. While Gov. Bobby Jindal made a statement that this man would be stripped of his title and removed from his position. However, Gov. Jindal has not yet acted on it. As governor he could have done this immediately. Why has he waited?

    October 18, 2009 at 6:48 am |
  82. kayshyna

    I have lived in Louisiana my entire life and racism is live and well here. I’m aware of the color of my skin and I love it. I also reserve the right to love and procreate with whom ever I choose. That ignorant justice of the peace should be concerned for biracial children as long as people in Louisiana continue to think like he does. I know a lot of people are floored by this guys actions but you have to appreciate ignorance at its best.

    October 18, 2009 at 6:51 am |
  83. GarettReid

    This Marriage issue is really ridiculous and always has been. Marriage is a religious term, a religious action, a religious commitment, etc... The separation of Church and State in our constitution should simply put this to rest, be it for this couple denied over race or the gay community currently fighting in all corners of our nation for equality. Our judges, justices, governors, etc. should have absolutely NO say whatsoever as to who decides to commit to one another in marriage. If your religion and your church and or your beliefs allow you the ceremony and commitment the governments duty is to apply the contract for standard legality and nothing else. You may choose to register your marriage with the government or not for whatever religious purpose you deem. The commitment contract that is necessary for government to uphold the rights of couples should do nothing but that alone. The justice in this case shouldn't even be allowed to make this decision, though neither should anyone other then the two individuals involved. Hell, we haven't been able to put an end to polygamy or divorce so why cant same sex couples or other individual races make their own decisions.

    October 18, 2009 at 7:20 am |
  84. agentwade

    A white woman and a black man? What next, we're going to allow people to marry their horses?!

    October 18, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  85. Wren

    Those that believe this JOP has the right to allow his feelings to dictate who he will or will not marry are failing to remember. That as a member of the judicial system this man sets aside all his feelings and emotions and preforms duties of law.

    His worries of children fall to the Department of Children's welfare, he should have gotten his degree in that area and his feelings and emotions could have gone unchecked.

    He has crossed the line of his profession though and allowed emotion to run and rule, he failed to adhere to the structure of what a JOP means and does. So by the very law he merits out and lives by he has to step down from his position. For this one act alone if not more he has broken the very fabric and law of a judicial member.

    A judicial member in any capacity is not allowed to be ruled by their feelings or emotions, but by the guidelines of the law. To do any other way would be biased and impartial. Even juries are held to this code, if one cannot live by this, a new career line should be found pronto.

    October 19, 2009 at 7:20 am |
  86. Top 20 Alum

    This is a very interesting debate- I challenge each and every American to travel the world and notice that interracial couples exist everywhere. I think we are all too quick to judge what is "right" and what is "wrong" without thinking to ourselves, "who am I to make these decisions?" Do you profess to be the master of the universe?!

    For those that identify themselves as purely "white" or "black"-are you able to trace your familial ancestors to one specific country? one region/province? one neighborhood? For the majority of Americans...I am guessing the answer is NO. If we open our eyes, we will see that our histories are much more complicated than black v. white. At the end of the day, we are all human-we all have 22 pairs of chromosomes and 1 pair of sex chromosomes. The difference in our skin color comes from increased melanin production in our if that makes a person more or less human, then I'm ashamed to breathe the same air with such uneducated and proudly ignorant people.

    I think I now understand why not everyone can go to the finest institutions in America-their minds aren't quite ready for thought provoking discussion.

    Now back to reading about more important things...

    October 23, 2009 at 3:00 pm |