LGBT groups denounce official's denial of marriage license to interracial couple in Louisiana

October 16, 2009

Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
(Cell) 202.641.5592

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 — The following joint statement was issued today by a coalition of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality advocates in response to the refusal by a Louisiana justice of the peace to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple in the southeastern part of the state.  Keith Bardwell, a justice of the peace in Tangipahoa Parish, refused to marry Beth Humphrey, who is white, and Terence McKay, who is black, because they are an interracial couple.

The statement may be attributed to the individuals and organizations listed below:

"That anyone would refuse to marry a loving, committed couple on the basis of race is unconscionable. That the person doing so is an official of the state responsible for upholding justice is outrageous and unacceptable.”

"We condemn this ugly act in the strongest possible terms and join the NAACP in denouncing this display of racism. It is wrong for loving couples who want to make a life-long marriage commitment to be denied that right because of someone else’s prejudice.” 

Kyle Bailey, Interim Executive Director, National Stonewall Democrats
Jarrett Barrios, President, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)
Toni Broaddus, Executive Director, Equality Federation
Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Kevin Cathcart, Executive Director, Lambda Legal
Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director, Family Equality Council
Jody Huckaby, Executive Director, PFLAG National (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)
Mara Keisling, Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality
Kate Kendell, Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights
Sharon J. Lettman, Executive Director, National Black Justice Coalition
Joe Solmonese, President, Human Rights Campaign
Lee Swislow, Executive Director, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders
Evan Wolfson, Executive Director, Freedom to Marry

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.