For weeks, Louisiana officials, including Gov. Bobby Jindal, had called for Bardwell’s ouster after he refused to marry Beth Humphrey, a White woman, and Terence McKay, an African-American man.
“This was the right decision by Mr. Bardwell. What he did was clearly wrong and this resignation was long overdue,” Jindal said in a statement.
Bardwell resigned from his position with a terse statement to Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne which read, “I do hereby resign the office of Justice of the Peace for the Eighth Ward of Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, effective Nov. 3, 2009.”
According to The Associated Press, Bardwell said he has refused to marry other interracial couples because he believes their children will “suffer, and I won’t help put them through it.” The embattled judge also said he referred the couples to other justices of the peace.
Elected in 1975 as justice of the peace in Ponchatoula, La., Bardwell’s term was to run through 2014.
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