Justice of peace wrong to deny interracial marriage

Justice of peace wrong to deny interracial marriage

Going to the justice of the peace with your sweetie to obtain your marriage license should be a cause for celebration. It wasn’t very much fun last week for Beth Humphrey and Terence McKay, residents of Hammond, La.. This young, happy couple was denied their right to a marriage license by Justice Keith Bardwell. Apparently, Bardwell never heard what I told my own daughter when she was a toddler. God makes us all different on the outside, but we are all the same underneath; we all have the same heart. Bardwell begrudged the rights of this couple because Humphrey is white and McKay is black.

This is abhorrent behavior, especially in light of the fact that the Supreme Court ruled in 1967 that we can all marry whomever we choose. It’s just another example of people trying to self-righteously inflict their own prejudices on others. Bardwell defended himself by stating that he was only thinking about the couple’s future children, and how being “mixed” would affect them later in life. He denies that he is a racist and says he just thinks that the races shouldn’t mix. I hate to be the one to tell him, but that ship has sailed.

According to msnbc.com, interracial marriages now account for more than 7 percent of total marriages in the U.S.. The numbers are rising steadily because today’s young people don’t see race as a big deal. It is less stigmatized to date someone of a different race today than it used to be.

Getting married is a serious decision and an epic life change. I’m fairly sure that Humphrey and McKay have already discussed the big issues that can come up in a marriage such as finances, child-rearing and day-to-day problems. They probably had no idea there would be a roadblock before they even got that far. How dare Justice Bardwell think he has any right to tell anyone how to live? Only God can do that, and according to the cute, little song I learned at church as a child, God loves us no matter what color we are.

We enter into marriage knowing there are risks and that there could be problems. If this guy is going to tell mixed-race couples not to marry, is he also going to question if people drink too much or do drugs? Maybe those people shouldn’t procreate either. Where is the line of judgment drawn?

In this crazy, heartbreaking world we live in, people who find their soulmates should grab them up, no matter “what color they are on the outside” as my young daughter said. I hope Bardwell enjoys the judgment from the Louisiana Judiciary Committee, prodded by the American Civil Liberties Union, to give Bardwell the strictest sanctions for breaking the law. That’s karma for you.

Humphrey and McKay found another justice to marry them, and I hope they have a blessed, loving marriage and healthy, happy children. Those children should know no color.

Christi Aldridge is a senior strategic communications major for Hillsboro.