Throwback Thursdays: Interracial Couple denied Marriage License

*Originally written on October, 17th, 2009.

by Nicole

In the year 2009, you wouldn’t think that people would still be denied the right to get married simply because they are of different ethnic origins—not in America–not in 2009.

You wouldn’t think that someone like Justice Keith Bardwell would be serving the state of Louisiana–be denying people marriage licenses because of his personal beliefs—no. Not in a post-Loving v. Virginia America—not in 2009.

Mildred and Richard Loving would be mad as hell right now. People are people—we’re not programmed to have the same beliefs. I don’t expect people to think the way I do; that would certainly be unrealistic. There are many people who feel exactly like Justice Bardwell does—and they have every right to believe what they want to believe.

But Justice Bardwell having his own thoughts and beliefs isn’t the issue here; the fact that he can’t keep his own prejudice from affecting his decisions on the bench is. Denying two people who love each other the right to get married because YOU have your own racial tendencies is beyond selfish—it’s grounds for termination in my book.

In my humble opinion you cannot justify ANYONE—no matter what their professional stature may be–letting their personal racial/religious/gender bias GET IN THE WAY of how they handle their decisions in their field—especially someone who is supposed to be a “Justice of the Peace”.

Even though people are people, and they will believe whatever may be in their hearts, I would love to hear a logical, non-prejudiced explanation for believing that two people shouldn’t be together/get married because they are of two different races.

Before the Loving decision back in 1967, the anti-miscegenation laws basically said that whites getting married to non-whites was illegal—so for instance, if you happened to be hispanic and you wanted to get married to an African-American–in most if not all states back then, that was just fine. But if you were white, and you wanted to get married to ANYONE who wasn’t white—well, that wasn’t gonna happen in some states.

If that was the justification for it back then, what is it now? No matter your ethnic origin, if you believe that people shouldn’t date outside of their race, that indicates, to me, some personal prejudice on your part—whether you think so, or not.

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.” says Bardwell.

They use his bathroom huh?

I’d love to know what that has to do with his job—sounds like he’s in major denial mode.
It’s unbelievable that in 2009 we have someone—post-Loving—refusing to sign marriage licenses on the basis of race. Bardwell says he did it “out of concern for any children the couple may have”.

I happen to know of a few mixed-race kids who turned out to be quite alright—a certain Oscar-award winning actress maybe? Maybe the starting shortstop for the New York Yankees? Or how about the 44th President of the United States?

Ironic isn’t it? A biracial President giving a speech in the same state where there is a Justice of the Peace who happens to think that there shouldn’t be any interracial marriages—and imposes his own beliefs on people’s lives.

Denying Mildred and Richard Loving was wrong in the 60′s—and denying anyone else is wrong in 2009.

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