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Old October 19 2009, 03:20 AM   #31
M'Sharak
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Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in Louisiana

JuanBolio wrote: View Post
1001001 wrote: View Post
I thought this must have been a bad joke or a misunderstanding.

Who the hell is he to decide this kind of thing?

Ignorant hick.
Well, he says he just won't do it himself. I suppose one could argue he has the right to decide what he does and doesn't do. He suggests they go to another justice to have it done - I suppose that's fair enough. Though I suppose you could make a counter argument that he has a responsibility to do it as part of his job description, regardless of personal beliefs.
JuanBolio wrote: View Post
RJDemonicus wrote: View Post
^^ Reminds me of those pharmacists who won't give out Birth Control Pills. If you're going to accept a job, you have to be willing to do it. But I don't really know much about JOPs and who they work for and how they're paid. Are they government employees or are they independent like a Notary Public? Do they take any kind of an oath?
Precisely my thinking.

At least, though, he does tell them they can go to another JoP. He doesn't try to stop them from marrying, exactly.
He is a public official who is misusing his office by refusing to officiate at a marriage between two parties who have (presumably) satisfied all of the legal requirements for same, for the sole reason that they are of different ethnic backgrounds. This is what's called racial discrimination.

If "one could argue [that a public official] has the right to decide what he does and doesn't do," then one could also see that argument as faulty, realizing that this case involves an official who has crossed well over the bounds of any discretion the office may have allowed, and even more easily argue that he is unfit, as demonstrated by his own actions, to be holding that office and ought to be considered for dismissal. Passing the buck by refusing to perform a function which is among the duties of the office to which he was appointed -- no matter how principled he may believe that refusal to be -- is still passing the buck. For a public official to be doing so for reasons of race is discriminatory, and it is against the law which he swore an oath to uphold when he took that office. The "right to decide what he does and does not do" does not reach so far as that. He overstepped his authority, pure and simple.
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