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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

October 16, 2009

LA Judge Denies Marriage License to Interracial Couple

A Louisiana Justice of the Peace refused to grant an interracial couple a marriage license yesterday on the grounds that their children might suffer from lack of acceptance. Justice of the Peace Keith Bardwell told the Daily Star of Hammond that during his 34 years as a Justice of the Peace, he has always refused to grant marriage licenses to interracial couples, but has never experienced opposition before.

"I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way," Bardwell told the Associated Press."There is a problem with both groups accepting a child from such a marriage...I think those children suffer and I won't help put them through it."

Beth Humphrey and Terrence McKay, the couple, say they will be consulting the US Justice Department about filing a discrimination complaint. Louisiana American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Marjorie R. Esman told the Hammond Daily Star that Bardwell's decision was illegal, and has been so for since the Loving vs. Virginia case in 1963. "The government cannot discriminate based upon race, which is what is happening here," she said. "The choice of a spouse is deeply personal, and the government simply cannot prevent you from marrying the person you love, based upon skin color."

Media Resources: Daily Star of Hammond 10/15/09; Associated Press 10/16/09

rosered32: (Believe in your idea)

Bill O'Reilly v. the First Graders

On Friday my son took a field trip with his first grade class to throw flower petals at his teacher as she exited City Hall in San Francisco, a newlywed. The class took a city bus down, surprised her and her bride, then had pizza. My son described the adventure as mostly boring, waiting around on the steps of City Hall with handfuls of flower petals. But he was very happy for his teacher, who he has quickly grown to love. When asked about the event, he gave a six-year-old's answer about people loving and caring for each other. He then moved on to Legos and more important things.

What my son (and I) didn't understand is that what he took part in was, according to Bill O'Reilly, "A new outrage in San Francisco," and that "opponents of gay marriage are up in arms, but the school administrators say it's no big deal." Ah, a teaching moment. Yes, kids, monsters are real. You'll know them because they'll be the ones taking up "arms" against an elementary school.

A story on the event, which appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on Saturday, has attracted more than 1,400 comments, many of them censored by the Chron—I assume because they contain threats and curse words—as well as homophobic diatribes more suitable for publication, like O'Reilly's. I’d like to thank Mayor Newsom (who performed the wedding) for standing up for the issue of gay marriage, even as I beg his pardon for complicating matters by allowing my kid to play a small, meaningful part in a legal and beautiful celebration.

I also want to be clear to the monsters and bigots out there that you're not scary. Hateful, yes, but you don’t scare us.

—Eddie Scher

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