Yesha Callahan

When The Loving Decision Just Isn’t Enough

loving

If you’re not familiar with the Loving’s, Richard was a white man, and Mildred was a black woman, who left Virginia and moved to DC to marry each other in June 1958. When they returned to Virginia, they were charged with violating The Racial Integrity Act, which banned white people from marrying non-white people. It wasn’t until June 12, 1967, that Richard and Mildred Loving set precedent in their case, Loving vs Virginia, which declared Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute, The Racial Integrity Act of 1924 unconstitutional and ended all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States.

You’d think in 2009, people were free to marry whomever they want, even though as recent as 2000, Alabama became the last state to repeal its law against mixed-race marriage. Apparently no one informed, Keith Bardwell, a Justice of Peace in Tangipahoa parish in New Orleans, that these laws existed. According to Bardwell, he’s not racist, he just doesn’t believe that races should mix. Of course he went on to say that he has “piles” of black friends.

I truly don’t think that having ‘piles’ of black friends truly concern Beth Humphrey, 30, and Terence McKay, 32, all they want to do is get married, but Bardwell says he’s not the man who’s going to do it. Beth, who’s white & Terence, who’s black, plan on seeking legal advice in the situation. But Bardwell’s stance is basically, that he didn’t say they couldn’t marry, he just wasn’t the man to do the job, ironically he’s held the same stance with four other couples.

My first obvious question, who are the four couples who didn’t think to complain about this? Did they feel that it was ok for him to not marry them? I truly couldn’t believe that I was reading something about this in 2009 as I was sitting in my car earlier this morning. Personally, I could careless who people choose to marry. You’d think that people would be beyond that is this ‘post-racial society’.  I guess the saying, the more things change, the more they stay the same, rings true once again.

Richard & Mildred Loving, I hope the both of you are resting  in peace & haven’t rolled over in your graves.

Post-racial society, my ass.

Maybe more people should get ‘piles’ of friends of each race, but still keep the same prejudices/stereotypes that people have fought so hard to get rid of, since that’s what Bardwell is actually condoning.

  1. October 16, 2009 - Reply

    I think it's ridiculous. It's 2009…and it's clear that our society is becoming more and more integrated. If interracial couples want to marry so be it…throw rice. I do believe thought that however racist and asinine it is to take this stance…he has a right to do that. Anyone providing a service has a right to turn someone away. Messed up, but true enough. I just wish that it didn't matter so much. I'm so over it. If there's love to be found in this world, grab hold, I say.

  2. October 16, 2009 - Reply

    Unfortunately, being that he operates under the state, he's NOT allowed to turn someone away. It's not like he's a self-employed business owner.

  3. October 16, 2009 - Reply

    I am not going to do the dog-pile-on-the-rabbit. This issue is a very slippery slope. I wonder if Terence & Beth have any legal recourse. Is Mr. Bardwell employed by the state or merely “under the state”. I do not know, I am just asking the question. Is he not like an attorney that is licenced by the state? If so, doesn't he have the right to deny his services much like an attorney?

    Although I do not agree with Mr. Bardwell's reasoning or condone it, I wonder what many would say if the couple in question were gay? ut oh, what then? In several states, gay marriage is sanctioned by law. I doubt ….well, I know several pastors in those state will not perform a gay marriage in their church, or anywhere.

    If Mr. Bardwell's “job” is working for the state, I have a moot point. If not, then I believe he has all the right in the world to stand behind his beliefs. Right or wrong, love it or leave it, Mr. Bardwell stated his reasons for not marrying this couple.

    On a side note: is it a fact that “mixed” marriages fail more often than same race marriages? Is it a fact that the children have a harder time in life?

  4. October 16, 2009 - Reply

    On further review, it appears Mr. Bardwell is breaking the law. It's my understanding that “justices of the peace” is a held office.

    There is still a question on the floor. If he was not under the state, could he then deny his services based on his own personal beliefs? Again, just like any other profession that can pick and chose their clients, can he be forced to render his services? Am just asking.

  5. October 16, 2009 - Reply

    I first heard about Mr. and Mrs. Loving via a film by the same name starring Lela Rochon (and I think Timothy Hutton but not totally sure) when I was 21. When Mrs. Loving died, I remember hearing a lot about them in the media. Of course, now with this new story of the interracial couple not being able to get married, it still brings this issue to the forefront. Our President is biracial but interracial marriage is still looked down by some. The more things change, the more they stay the same I say.

  6. October 16, 2009 - Reply

    You have a point there. Which brings me to another question, why is it that these states keep people like this in positions that could bring suit against them…where loss of money is potentially involved? *rhetorical* There needs to be a shift in power…antiquated ideology and people who live by it need to retire these positions.

  7. October 17, 2009 - Reply

    Truly a sad situation. I hope he gets what he deserves!

    btw, love the site!

  8. October 20, 2009 - Reply

    I must say this is a great article i enjoyed reading it keep the good work.

  9. October 20, 2009 - Reply

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  10. October 22, 2009 - Reply

    Just about anyone can deny services in a place or business or profession, but it can not be based on discrimination. If you clearly state as he has I will not serve you because you are black, gay, women, catholic, etc. then you are in violation of anti discrimination laws it doesn't matter if your job is a state position or not,

    There are some exceptions to these laws but i can't see how Officiant would fall into it.

  11. October 22, 2009 - Reply

    Hi stopping by to show some luv from http://www.blogshercolor.com

    I have to say I read about this and my jaw dropped. I don't know why i'm so shocked but it always takes your breath away when some one blatantly proves to be a racist.

    I read some of the other comments and this a great debate, it's a shame more people don't seem upset about this and it seems to be forgotten so soon.

  12. October 23, 2009 - Reply

    Thanks for the clarification. Okay….. since he “stated it” he was in violation of the law.

    On a side note….. On a personal note…. I really do not want the services of omeone that doesn't want me. Granted, there may be legal ramification, but I am moving on. I am thinking of places like exclusive membership clubs. They can have their club, and I wouldn't be mad at them. To be honest, a person doesn't have to serve me “his” food. I'll take my money to someone who appreciates it.

  13. October 23, 2009 - Reply

    Thanks for the clarification. Okay….. since he “stated it” he was in violation of the law.

    On a side note….. On a personal note…. I really do not want the services of omeone that doesn't want me. Granted, there may be legal ramification, but I am moving on. I am thinking of places like exclusive membership clubs. They can have their club, and I wouldn't be mad at them. To be honest, a person doesn't have to serve me “his” food. I'll take my money to someone who appreciates it.

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