Justice who blocked interracial marriage: ‘Everybody hates me’
Terence McKay: ‘If it wasn’t for interracial couples … we wouldn’t have our president’
Beth and Terence McKay wouldn’t be married today if Keith Bardwell, a justice of the peace in Hammond, Louisiana, had his way. Bardwell became the subject of intense controversy last week when he refused to grant a marriage license to the interracial couple, saying he fears for the offspring of mixed-race marriages.
Since then, the Louisiana chapter of the ACLU has called Bardwell’s decision “tragic and illegal,” and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has called for the justice’s license to be revoked. But Bardwell is refusing to resign.
“Despite calls for his resignation, the justice himself says he’s not going anywhere, that he’s not sorry, and that in fact he’s done nothing wrong,” CNN’s Kieran Chetry reported Monday morning.
Asked by a WFAB-TV interviewer if he was a racist, Bardwell responded: “Absolutely not. My definition of a racist is to hate black people, or treat black people differently than anybody else.”
“Everybody hates me,” Bardwell told the Associated Press. “Really. I don’t know why. I treat people, I figure, equal. I have one problem with mixed marriages and that is the offspring.”
But the McKays, who were eventually married by another justice of the peace, aren’t convinced they were treated fairly by Bardwell.
“We’ve retained an attorney, and we’re in the process of taking the next steps to make sure that he loses his job,” Beth McKay told CNN.
“Everyone is entitled to his opinions, but he’s absolutely wrong on all aspects of his stance,” Terence McKay said. “He says the only reason he doesn’t marry interracial couple is … because of the offspring of [interracial] marriages. If it wasn’t for interracial couples today, we wouldn’t have our president.”
This video is from CNN’s American Morning, broadcast Oct. 19, 2009.