WBRZ News

Justice of the peace could be forced to step down

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Posted: Oct 19, 2009 4:59 PM by Chris Nakamoto
Updated: Oct 19, 2009 11:09 PM
Source: WBRZ

  Rating: 5.0 (2 votes)

Topics: Justice of the Peace, Keith Bardwell, marriage, couple, interracial, Tangipahoa Parish

The Louisiana Judiciary Commission could force a justice of the peace from Hammond to step down over his refusal to marry an interracial couple.

Keith Bardwell said he would not marry Terence Mckay and Elizabeth Humphrey nearly two weeks ago. Bardwell said he feared for the children they might have. Mckay is black, and Humphrey is white.

"I regret they got their feelings hurt or insulted, but you don't have regrets when you don't feel like you've done anything wrong," Bardwell said.

Since the story broke last week, government offices in Tagipahoa Parish have received a flood of calls from people across the nation.

"We have over 100,000 people here and this is the actions of one person," Clerk of Court Julian Dufreche said. "I would ask those people not to judge us on that."

The McKay's son, Terence Brewer, told News 2 the actions of the justice of the peace have taken a toll on his family.

"It has been stressful on us," Brewer said.

The Louisiana Judiciary Commission refused to comment on whether it is investigating.

Several elected leaders have called for Bardwell to resign.

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