Last week, Louisiana couple Beth and Terence McKay revealed that justice of the peace Keith Bardwell had recently refused to give them a marriage license because they are an interracial couple. “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.” Today on CNN, the McKays responded to Bardwell:
TERENCE McKAY: He says the only reason he doesn’t marry interracial couple is dealing with — because of the offspring of the marriages. If it wasn’t for interracial couples today, we wouldn’t have our president. So, for him to take that outlook, that’s still 1800s or something.
Louisiana Judge Compares Interracial Couples To Drunk People, [Updated 10/19/09, at 12:39 p.m.]
The Louisiana Justice of the Peace who refused to perform an interracial marriage was interviewed on CBS News Monday morning and tried to explain his actions.
Bartlett explained that he had seen “countless” interracial couples where the children were rejected by family members, and he didn’t want to see that happen again. He defended himself by pointing out that he did not prevent the couple from getting married; he merely would not do it himself. Asked if he would refuse to perform a marriage for any other reason, he said no, but then corrected himself.
“One of them is intoxicated or seems to be or on drugs or whatever, yeah, I can recuse myself and make them come back when they’re in a sober state,” he added.
At the end of the segment, Bartlett asked to say one more thing.
“I’m sorry that I offended the couple, but I did help them and tell them who to go to,” he said. “And they went and got married, and they should be happily married and I don’t see what the problem is now.”