Louisiana justice of the peace Keith Bardwell is in the middle of national controversy after denying interracial couple Terence McKay and Beth Humphrey, both of Hammond, Louisiana marriage licenses based on a personal belief that "such marriages don’t usually last very long".
Bardwell denies he's a racist and offers this money quote as proof. Get ready to protect your keyboard.
"I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way. 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."
The AP reports:
"I do ceremonies for black couples right here in my house," Bardwell said. "My main concern is for the children."
Bardwell said he has discussed the topic with blacks and whites, along with witnessing some interracial marriages. He came to the conclusion that most of black society does not readily accept offspring of such relationships, and neither does white society, he said.
"I don't do interracial marriages because I don't want to put children in a situation they didn't bring on themselves," Bardwell said. "In my heart, I feel the children will later suffer."
If he does an interracial marriage for one couple, he must do the same for all, he said.
"I try to treat everyone equally," he said.
Yeah right. The good ol' south rises again. I couldn't help but remember an amazing sign from an interracial couple at The National Equality March that read "Our Marriage Was Once Illegal Too" when I read this story. I guess it's a good thing they didn't attempt to get married in Louisiana.
Watch a CNN news report on this story here.