Last month, Louisiana justice of the peace Keith Bardwell stirred controversy when he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple because he believes that such marriages don’t usually last very long. “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. Now, the Louisiana secretary of state’s office says that Bardwell has resigned:
A Louisiana justice of the peace who drew criticism for refusing to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple has resigned, the secretary of state’s office said Tuesday.
Keith Bardwell, a justice of the peace for Tangipahoa Parish’s 8th Ward, was widely criticized after he refused to grant a marriage license to Beth McKay and Terence McKay, an interracial couple who ultimately got a marriage license from another justice of the peace in the same parish.
The McKays hired an attorney and protested the justice’s actions.
Despite a national uproar and a call by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal for him to lose his license, Bardwell, 56, said in October that he had no regrets. “It’s kind of hard to apologize for something that you really and truly feel down in your heart you haven’t done wrong,” he told CNN affiliate WAFB.
Civil rights organizations had called for Bardwell to resign while Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) had called for him to be dismissed. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), on the other hand, would only go so far as to say that Bardwell “should follow the law as written.”