A white justice of the peace in Louisiana refuses to marry interracial couple

Discussion in 'Political Discussions' started by potpourri, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. potpourri

    potpourri New Member

  2. jgaddy33688

    jgaddy33688 Member

    Hard to believe this guy thinks he has this right not to serve certain people.
  3. magoals

    magoals New Member


    that is unbelieve life is to short to be doing things like that and plus I love the fact that we are so different and have different foods and music if not things would be really boring
  4. mattbrent

    mattbrent Well-Known Member

    If you read the story, he has justification for his refusal. While I disagree with his claims, at least he has claims to back up hi reasoning.

    Furthermore, he states that he doesn't think they shouldn't be married, just that he won't do the ceremony.

    Very interesting piece for discussion, however.

  5. jgaddy33688

    jgaddy33688 Member

    I must have missed his justification. What was it?
  6. mattbrent

    mattbrent Well-Known Member

    Okay, first, shame on me! I didn't read the article because I had read another one that had appeared yesterday on yahoo. In the article I read, he explained his reasons. This article that was posted did not include his reasons, so I can see why you missed it!

    I can't find the exact article I read, but essentially he cited his observation that the children of interracial couples have more social issues to face than children of single race parents. Because he assumes a married couple will have kids, he did not want to marry the interracial couple because he believed their children would face ridicule and such.

    I suppose if he has actually observed these children facing ridicule, I could understand his logic for not wanting to marry the parents. I've seen mixed race children teased too. However, I've seen obese children teased, freckled children teased, short children teased, etc. etc. I'm not sure that, were I in his shoes, I would make such an assumption about interracial marriage and children. All children get teased. So does that mean no one should get married, and no one should have kids?

    While I follow his logic, I can't say I agree with it.

  7. potpourri

    potpourri New Member

    People have the right to voice their opinion. However, this justice of the peace is serving a people in the public square which means essentially that although he may have personal opinions or reasons as to why he doesn't support interracial marriage or wouldn't personally like to do an interracial marriage, this justice of the peace has to be willing to serve all the people, not just a select few.

    Furthermore, I'm sure that there have been things in our jobs or responsibilities that we all have had to do that we personally don't agree or approve of, but if we decide that we're going to serve the public this to me is what he agreed to do, and therefore, his justifications don't merit it when he has agreed to be a justice of the peace for all the people, not just those that he randomly selects. To me, this is definately outright discrimination against the couple.

    Yes, people do get picked on coming from an interracial background. But, I can think of a couple people who have made great strides to overcome this hurdle. Barack Obama is President of the United States. And, Derek Jeter is an awesome athlete and hot and he has been a good role model for children as well.

    If two people in my opinion honestly love each other, and want to get married, as long as they meet the requirements for it then it should be fine. It's disturbing to see this still happens today.
  8. mattbrent

    mattbrent Well-Known Member

    One could use your statement in support of same-sex marriage. The political science class I teach has discussed this numerous times. One could say that a same-sex couple could parallel the interracial couple. It's a good topic of discussion.

  9. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Good points Potpourri. As a public servant, it does not matter what his personal opinions are. He needs to do what he is paid to do under the law. I work for a branch of government that is represented by one the largest, most powerful unions. But if I decided not to help someone because they were black, nobody could defend me from being fired. So, this guy can do whatever he wants I suppose, but not on the public dime. I also don't care about his supposed concern for ridicule of the children. I just don't buy it. His ass needs to be gone. Maybe Rush can give him a job.

    Just my two centavos!!!!

    Abner :) :)
  10. jaer57

    jaer57 New Member

    He has a pretty weak justification. One could go as far to make the same justification over an obese couple, poor couple, alcoholic couple, uneducated couple, couple with a disability, etc. Has he ever turned down marrying any other couples over the same justification? If public servants are going to have trouble serving the public within the bounds of the law and not personal preference, they should resign their public office.
  11. Tom H.

    Tom H. New Member

    None of this should actually matter at all. If the people met the state's legal requirement to be married, and the justice of the peace's (JP) duties include marrying couples who present the requisite forms and pay the appropriate fee, no government official should have the latitude to decline to perform the function for which they have been hired for any reason. Even if the JP knows that a marriage won't last or suspects that the couple don't truly love each other, s/he still must perform the function that they have been hired for. In some ways this is part of a disturbing trend on the part of government employees, to wit, effectively witholding government services by not processing applications or demanding ridiculous amounts of documentation (such as renewing a driver license). Some jerk at PENNDOT (PA's motor vehicle agency) told me that my U.S. passport, birth certificate and Social Security card were not sufficient for me to renew my PA DL and that "a drivers license is a privilege, not a right." I told him GFY and went to a different office to get renewed.

    The Louisiana JP is on par with the PA motor vehicle employee, they are public servants and should not have the ability to withold services to the taxpayers based on their personal opinions.
  12. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Our Libertarian friends would tell us that the government has no business becoming involved in such matters. What business is it of the government who becomes married? Why is this even a matter in which they have any control? Why do we allow them to be in control of such matters?
  13. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I've wondered that myself. Why should the law give special status to a man and a woman if they are living together and having sex? What business is that of the government's? (Assuming that the individuals are consenting adults.) Why is it the state's concern?

    Presumably, the primary motivation is the valuable one of strengthening families and child-rearing. But not all married couples have children and not all children are raised by married couples. So perhaps state recognition of parental and/or children's caretaker relationships makes more sense than recognition of sexual relationships.

    Of course, there's nothing in what I just wrote to prevent churches from continuing to treat marriage as a sacrament or however they choose to consider it. There could still be solemn (or lavish) church weddings if people desire that.
  14. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I think that the issues are separate.

    In states where it isn't currently legal, gay marriage isn't currently a legal right. The question there is whether it should be legalized.

    The incident in this thread involves a minor public official depriving two citizens of something that is their legal right because he personally disapproves of their relationship.

    It's a basic principle in court rooms and in law enforcement. Officials have to administer the law as it currently exists, even if they disagree with it.

    If the law allows interracial couples to get married, then public officials have to marry them until and unless the law is subsequently changed. (A change that I would strongly and vociferously oppose.)

    The fundamental issue in all this is selective application of the law and the idea that laws apply to some people but not for others, with choices on which laws to recognize being left up to the personal views of local officials.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2009
  15. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    In law, the default assumption is that if there is no law against something, then it is legal. So, gay marriage doesn't need to be legalized in order to be legal, unless there are some states wherein there are specific laws against same. In those cases, you can change the law by legialative statute (or an initiative of the people, in some states), by executive order, or by state (or federal) Supreme Court precedent.
  16. mattbrent

    mattbrent Well-Known Member

    It depends on whom you ask. Under the Full Faith & Credit Clause of the Constitution, states must accept contracts from other states. A marriage is a contract. If two people of different races get married in State A, their marriage must be accepted in State B. Yet, if a same-sex couple gets married in State A, State B has been refusing to recognize the marriage.

    Yes, it doesn't involve a Justice of the Peace refusing to marry the couple, but rather that state refusing to recognize the couple. To some extent I see parallels there.

  17. potpourri

    potpourri New Member

    This is an interesting discussion. I think that when it comes to a lot of things that there are double standards that are given and that's why we have all these discrepancies.

    For example, if two girls kiss out in public, it is generally accepted and in fact many people will consider it perfectly fine. But, if two guys are kissing, it is a taboo and not acceptable. That to me is a double standard. What is the difference? Why should it be that one gender it is ok, but not for the other (double standard)?

    When it comes to gay marriage I don't see where the government has the right to refuse two people that if they love each other and care for one another and are of legal age and meet the requirements of marriage why they should be denied the right to be married in a public forum.

    In other words, if two people of the same sex are getting married before a justice of the peace, or by public officials, how does the government have the right to tell them that they can't get married?

    I can understand religious groups not being forced to agree with it because in that sense it is a private and religious group that has the right to have their own beliefs. But, when it comes to public domain I don't think the government has the right to deny same sex couples the right to be married.
  18. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member


  19. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    There were once two lawyers here, Little Fauss and Nosborne. They now hang at degreediscussion.com. They can explain to you how one state refusing to recognize another state's marriages, professional licensures, etc., doesn't necessarily violate full faith and credit.
  20. mattbrent

    mattbrent Well-Known Member

    Well that's just the thing about the Constitution. It's all in how it's interpreted. It's amazing how the justices interpret things one way that seem clear as day another way. That's why I loved my Constitutional Development course!


Share This Page