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Since the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in 1967 in the case of Loving v. Virginia, it's been against the law to keep interracial couples from marrying the way Virginia did with its Racial Integrity Act of 1924. The ruling also knocked down the anti-miscegenation laws of 15 other states still on the books in the late '60s. But Justice of the Peace Keith Bardwell of Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, didn't get the memo, or rather, he did but won't obey the law. He recently refused to marry an interracial couple, just as he has done on at least three previous occasions.

Bardwell, whose elected term of office runs until 2014, told the Associated Press: "I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way. 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."

As long, apparently, as they don't try to marry his sister.

Don Ellzey at the Hammond Daily Star writes:

He said he has discussed the topic with blacks and whites, along with witnessing some interracial marriages. Bardwell said he came to the conclusion that most black society does not readily accept offspring of such relationships, and neither does white society. ...

"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."

He said if he does an interracial marriage for one couple, he must do the same for all.

"I try to treat everyone equally," he said.

The American Civil Liberties Union and local NAACP are looking into the matter. But how long before certain denizens of the national pundithuggery start braying that stopping Bardwell's outlawry would violate his principles? We can hear Glenn now: "Denying him his right to deny other people their rights is denying his rights!"

U.S States, by the date of repeal of anti-miscegenation laws:
No laws passed =
Before 1887 =
1948 to 1967 =
12 June 1967 =

= = =

Vita Brevis and others are discussing the matter here.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Oct 15, 2009 at 09:12 PM PDT.

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