(Washington, D.C., October 16, 2009) — The following 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

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.