Friday, October 16, 2009


by Cleo Brown

Last weekend, on October 10th thru 11th, 2009, The National Equality March to empower the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) Community through the exercise of the LGBT Community’s Civil Rights - particularly the exercise of its Fourteenth Amendment Right - was held.

In addition to the end of discriminatory treatment against the members of its community, demonstrators were seeking the right to legally wed their life’s partners. Having borrowed the principles of the LGBT Community’s Civil Rights Movement from The Black Community’s Civil Rights Movement of the Twentieth Century as well as from The Women’s Movement which also borrowed tactics and principles from the African-American Movement, Gay couples throughout the United States depended upon The Loving versus the state of Virginia Decision to help them (the LGBT Community) gain the same legal validation of their marriages as The Loving couple gained through The Supreme Court sanction of their interracial marriage in June of 1967.

In Loving V. Virginia, Richard Loving who was Caucasian, and his wife, named Mildred loving who was of African and Native American Descent, sued the state of Virginia which had not only invalidated the Loving interracial union but had also forced the couple to leave the state of Virginia. The Loving couple won their case in 1967 with the Supreme Court saying that they could not tell Richard and Mildred whom to marry. It is with great sadness, therefore, given the five hundred years of sexual racism which African Americans have been the primary victims of, that a Justice of the Peace named Keith Bardwell from Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana feels that it is his God-given right and even, his duty as a Christian to refuse to marry interracial couples when one party is Caucasian and the other Negroid.

Mr. Bardwell has broken the law four times so far to date in Tangipahoa Parish with his latest victims being 30 year old Beth Humphrey and 32 year old Terence Mckay. Unlike the Loving Couple in 1967, for instance, .Humphrey is Caucasian while Mckay is Black. According to Mary Foster of The Associated Press, the couple were told by Bardwell on October 6th, 2009 that he would not sign a marriage license for an interracial couple. The reason he cited for his refusal is because the children from such unions are not happy because they are usually not accepted by either The African-American Community nor by the Caucasian Community.

Being the parent, the aunt, and the cousin of Biracial children who are happy and well-adjusted to life, I am appalled that this Justice-of-the Peace should not only manifest this particular mentality, but that he should have been permitted to force his beliefs upon citizens of The United States through his flagrant defiance of Civil Rights Law as well as his failure to comply with the Ninth and the Fourteenth Amendments. If Mr. Bardwell and other people like him are permitted to have their way, not only will the one million children adopted by the members of The LGBT Community be forced to live in single-parent families but so too will countless children like Barack Obama, Alicia Keyes, and the members of my own family. When will this type of bigotry combined with the exploitation of children as a safety net end?

About The Author: Cleo E. Brown has a Master’s Degree in Contemporary African-American History from The University of California at Davis in Davis, California. She also has a B.A. Minor Degree in Political-Science and has completed course work towards a Ph.D. in Education from The University of San Francisco in San Francisco, California. She is a Free Lance Writer and a Senior Editor at HHR

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