If you think the Texas Attorney General is a reactionary because he’d rather see a gay Dallas couple remain married than possibly recognizing their marriage in a sideways kind of way by allowing them to get legally divorced, you don’t have to look farther than Louisiana to see just how really bad things are.

Beth Humphrey and Terence McKay of Hammond, La., went to the justice of the peace to get a marriage license on Oct. 6. Just to be clear, Beth is a woman and Terence is a man. They wanted to get opposite-sex married.

But they live in Louisiana. And Humphrey and McKay are an interracial couple.

So Tangipahoa Parish Justice of the Peace Keith Bardwell denied them a marriage license. It wasn’t because he is a racist, he insisted. Instead, he said, “My main concern is for the children.”

Yes, children of interracial couples are at a disadvantage in this country, mostly because bigots don’t accept them. Children of gay and lesbian couples have that same trouble. Bigots taunt and tease them and use their own harassing behavior as proof that those children have a difficult time.

However, despite what Mr. Bardwell thinks, children of interracial couples do grow up to become president of the United States and even win Nobel Peace prizes.

In his defense, Bardwell told Associated Press, “I try to treat everyone equally.”

By that he means it was nothing personal. He equally denies marriage licenses to any and all interracial couples. I can just imagine his reaction to a gay or lesbian couple applying for that same license from him. And an interracial gay or lesbian couple would probably give him apoplexy.

The American Civil Liberties Union is preparing a letter to the Louisiana Supreme Court to remove Bardwell from office.

ACLU attorney Katie Schwartzman said, “The Supreme Court ruled as far back as 1963 that the government cannot tell people who they can and cannot marry.”

Really? Tell that to Texas and 44 other states that deny gays and lesbians the right to marry.

— David Taffet

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