"Keith Bardwell wants desperately to give his racism a happy face," said Andrew Belonsky in Gawker. The white Louisiana justice of the peace refused to give an interracial couple—Beth Humphrey and Terence McKay—a marriage license because he said both blacks and whites would reject their mixed-race babies. Bardwell says he has "piles and piles of black friends" whom he marries and lets use his bathroom! See, he's not a bigot—just a good Samaritan!
Racists use excuses like that all the time, said Ryan Peterson in RightJuris.com. Keith Bardwell is dreaming if he thinks anyone will believe he's not prejudiced because "he treats all interracial couples the same, like dirt." But the bottom line is that Bardwell is putting himself above Louisiana law, which places no racial restrictions on people wishing to marry, so he needs to be removed from office.
"For the sake of argument," said Michael Merritt in PoliGazette, "I’ll take the unpopular position," and ask why Keith Bardwell should be compelled to marry interracial couples. Yes, it's "wrong," and Louisiana law says Beth Humphrey and Terence McKay have every right to get married—but why does Bardwell have to preside over the ceremony if it goes against his beliefs? He's only making the same arguments gay-marriage opponents make. "If we allow marriage officials to deny their services to gay couples, we must also do this for interracial couples, as well as white couples."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- The Hobbit: A disappointing set of movies, but a worthy set of prequels
- America is building a Sunni army in Iraq to take on the Islamic State
- Dick Cheney's America is an ugly place
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The age of miracles is over — even for the religious
- How to make the ultimate grilled cheese
- The liberation of Barack Obama
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- What the media gets wrong about Jeb Bush
Subscribe to the Week