CNN - Civil rights advocates in eastern Louisiana are calling for a justice of the peace of Tangipahoa Parish to resign after he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple.
The demands for Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace for Tangipahoa Parish's 8th Ward, to step down came after he wouldn't issue a marriage license to Beth Humphrey, 30, and her boyfriend, Terence McKay, 32, both of Hammond.
"He's an elected public official and one of his duties is to marry people. He doesn't have the right to say he doesn't believe in it," Patricia Morris, president of the NAACP branch of Tangipahoa Parish, located near the Mississippi line, said Thursday.
"If he doesn't do what his position calls for him to do, he should resign from that position."
"I'm not a racist," Bardwell told the newspaper. "I do ceremonies for black couples right here in my house. My main concern is for the children."
Bardwell, stressing that he couldn't personally endorse the marriage, said his wife referred the couple to another justice of the peace. Read more.