Judge Refuses to Marry Interracial Couple
Brenda Salter McNeil; 21/10/09
Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court case which ended race-based restrictions on marriage, was decided in 1967 — almost 42 years ago. How is it then, that in 2009, a Louisiana judge was either so ignorant of the law or so arrogant about his power to supersede it, that he denied an interracial couple a marriage license? I was shocked! I guess on some level, I wanted to believe that this type of thing didn’t happen anymore. With the election of a biracial president, I wanted to believe that America had handled its race problem, although I knew in my heart and spirit that this was simply not the case. I also found my thoughts turning to the untold number of other young couples this judge undoubtedly turned away. I am confident that this was not an isolated incident, it seems apparent that refusing to issue marriage licenses to interracial couples was his practice and long-standing policy. Now, he said that he was motivated out of concern for the couple’s future children, citing the lack of acceptance they experience in society. My first response was all of the biracial individuals who don’t seem to have “suffered” at all, but have prospered instead. I think about Barack Obama, Tiger Woods, Halle Berry, Alicia Keys, and countless other successful individuals.