TANGIPAHOA PARISH, Louisiana --- A justice of the peace in Tangipahoa
Parish is under heavy criticism -- including calls for his resignation -- after he refused to issue a marriage license to an
"He's an elected public official and one of his duties is to marry people. He doesn't have the right to say he doesn't believe in it," Patricia Morris, president of the NAACP branch of Tangipahoa Parish, said Thursday. "If he doesn't do what his position calls for him to do, he should resign from that position."
According to CNN, the demands for Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace for Tangipahoa Parish's 8th Ward, to step down came after he refused to issue a marriage license to Beth Humphrey, 30, and her boyfriend, Terence McKay, 32 (left), both of Hammond.
"I was just really shocked, because he's an elected official," Humphrey said.
Bardwell told Hammond's Daily Star newspaper he wouldn't issue the license because he was worried about children who might be produced from such a mixed-race relationship. In addition, Bardwell said, in his own experience, most interracial marriages don't last.
"I'm not a racist," Bardwell told the newspaper. "I do ceremonies for black couples right here in my house. My main concern is for the children."
"We would like him to resign," the bride said. "He doesn't believe he's being racist, but it is racist."
Should the justice of the peace resign for "not doing what his position calls for him to do"? Or does the justice have a right to make a stand based on his moral convictions, even if many don't agree with those convictions?
Photo Credit: WAFB