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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.
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^^ 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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Old October 19 2009, 03:23 AM   #32
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Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in Louisiana

Yep, he did. I don't dispute that he was obligated to perform his duty regardless of personal belief. I'm just saying that compared to most people who get the racial discrimination brand, this one wasn't all that bad.
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Old October 19 2009, 03:26 AM   #33
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Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in Louisiana

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
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I see. So that works in general, does it? If one JoP won't marry you, you can find another who will (and who won't use the first one's refusal as evidence that the marriage shouldn't be allowed)?
No, I didn't mean to imply it was right or a good idea, just that it was reasonably fair.
Actually I was only asking if that would work.

If you've kept up on the news of this story, the JoP in question directed the couple to find another JoP who would be willing to marry them.
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Old October 19 2009, 03:36 AM   #34
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Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in Louisiana

JuanBolio wrote: View Post
Yep, he did. I don't dispute that he was obligated to perform his duty regardless of personal belief. I'm just saying that compared to most people who get the racial discrimination brand, this one wasn't all that bad.
Yes, but a little cancer is still a cancer. Whatever way one looks at it, it's still racism. The judge may think he's being principled, but his logic is inherently flawed: There is no guarantee that this couple will produce children; that, should children result from the marriage they will appear mixed (I'm half NA but appear white, unless you really know what you're looking for); and ultimately, no guarantee that they will experience any hardship based on their mixed heritage. The man is basically saying that being mixed is a handicap -- that is racism. It is racism wrapped up in a false logic that makes it look not "all that bad," but it's just as ugly as any other racism out there. Uglier, in a way, because it can be passed of as, again, not "all that bad."
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Old October 19 2009, 03:37 AM   #35
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Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in Louisiana

F. Kreuger wrote: View Post
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JuanBolio wrote: View Post
No, I didn't mean to imply it was right or a good idea, just that it was reasonably fair.
Actually I was only asking if that would work.

If you've kept up on the news of this story, the JoP in question directed the couple to find another JoP who would be willing to marry them.
I questioned his sincerity when he did that (as if he'd said "yeah, right, good luck finding another one who'll do it"), but if it was genuine, well, I guess that's the pickle on the giant crap sandwich that was that couple's day.

I concur with the opinion that it is the justice's obligation to carry out the law. Nothing more, nothing less. His personal beliefs are irrelevant. He is required to serve the public trust. His individuality does not exist, in this context. His opinion does not count, he exists solely to serve the people according to the law.

Just like the pharmacist who refused to sell condoms on principle; they are not, and should not be, allowed to interject their own opinions.
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Old October 19 2009, 03:47 AM   #36
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Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in Louisiana

thestrangledcorpse wrote: View Post
The man is basically saying that being mixed is a handicap -- that is racism.
Among many people in many places (all of them bad) being black or mixed IS a handicap. I don't think acknowledging that fact in and of itself is racist. A racist would say or imply that being black or mixed makes you a lesser human being, which this guy didn't.
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Old October 19 2009, 03:51 AM   #37
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Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in Louisiana

Whether it's words like "handicap" or "lesser"...the result is the same. Mixed ethnicity can, logically, only be a handicap to racists.
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Old October 19 2009, 03:55 AM   #38
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Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in Louisiana

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Whether it's words like "handicap" or "lesser"...the result is the same. Mixed ethnicity can, logically, only be a handicap to racists.
Yes, that's true. However, racists still have power over people in a lot of places - whether it is through overt methods like beatings and Klan rallies, to more subtle approaches like not hiring or enrolling someone for being black. As such, being black or mixed can have detrimental effects in one's life. That's a handicap.

Almost any black person out there will tell you the same thing. Should it be so? No, of course not. Is it? Hell yes.
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Old October 19 2009, 03:58 AM   #39
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Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in Louisiana

JuanBolio wrote: View Post
racists still have power over people in a lot of places - whether it is through overt methods like beatings and Klan rallies, to more subtle approaches like not hiring or enrolling someone for being black.
And this justice is only making things worse by continuing that cycle of racism. He could have stood up against it, but failed. His inaction allows racism to continue.
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Old October 19 2009, 03:59 AM   #40
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Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in Louisiana

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Whether it's words like "handicap" or "lesser"...the result is the same. Mixed ethnicity can, logically, only be a handicap to racists.
Exactly. It is inarguable that some people have faced significant challenges as a result of being mixed. But the label of "handicap" is not one that describes their inherent state of being as mixed, it describes the attitudes and behaviors of racist individuals around them. Arguing semantics could become overly complex and convoluted, though. The most basic fact of the case is this: the man was showing racist behavior. Whatever the motivations or faulty logic behind his behavior, the behavior itself is racist. A person who thinks that an interracial couple should not be married/have children, for the sake of said children is serving only to reaffirm racist attitudes and is therefore engaging in racist behavior.
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Old October 19 2009, 04:02 AM   #41
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Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in Louisiana

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
And this justice is only making things worse by continuing that cycle of racism. He could have stood up against it, but failed. His inaction allows racism to continue.
I agree, but I don't think that makes his actions and beliefs in themselves racist.

thestrangledcorpse wrote: View Post
The most basic fact of the case is this: the man was showing racist behavior. Whatever the motivations or faulty logic behind his behavior, the behavior itself is racist. A person who thinks that an interracial couple should not be married/have children, for the sake of said children is serving only to reaffirm racist attitudes and is therefore engaging in racist behavior.
I disagree. I believe motive defines a person's actions, not their unintended effects. In my book this man, based on what he's said alone (I know nothing of his inner motivations, if he has any), is not racist, and therefore neither were his actions. Overstepping his authority and worthy of termination, definitely. Racist - no.
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Old October 19 2009, 04:05 AM   #42
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Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in Louisiana

JuanBolio wrote: View Post
thestrangledcorpse wrote: View Post
The most basic fact of the case is this: the man was showing racist behavior. Whatever the motivations or faulty logic behind his behavior, the behavior itself is racist. A person who thinks that an interracial couple should not be married/have children, for the sake of said children is serving only to reaffirm racist attitudes and is therefore engaging in racist behavior.
I disagree. I believe motive defines a person's actions, not their unintended effects. In my book this man, based on what he's said alone (I know nothing of his inner motivations, if he has any), is not racist, and therefore neither were his actions. Overstepping his authority and worthy of termination, definitely. Racist - no.
And I have to disagree with that. In cases like this, motives are meaningless, actions are everything. The behavior is racist, no matter the logic or intentions behind it.
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Old October 19 2009, 04:06 AM   #43
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Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in Louisiana

JuanBolio wrote: View Post
Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
And this justice is only making things worse by continuing that cycle of racism. He could have stood up against it, but failed. His inaction allows racism to continue.
I agree, but I don't think that makes his actions and beliefs in themselves racist.
Whoever, and whatever, perpetuates racism - or allows it to be perpetuated - is in itself racist.
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Old October 19 2009, 04:06 AM   #44
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in Louisiana

I agree with those who find this disturbing: to deem being interracial such an adversity that it is better that such children not live--NOT a good attitude at all. What about other adversities? Disabilities? Being too smart? Being adopted by a single parent? Eeeek. I don't see how this is NOT racist.

And if there IS adversity, it is the responsibility of the parents to equip their children to handle it and to be there to support them. It is NOT the government's place, unless there is PROVEN, criminal abuse, to interfere with the right of people to succeed or fail as they will.
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Old October 19 2009, 04:11 AM   #45
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Re: Interracial couple denied marriage license in Louisiana

Well said, Nerys and tsq.

And at the risk of trivializing the situation by interjecting a fictional example: This is exactly the kind of thing Spock had to deal with in ST XI. The Vulcan Science Minister was exhibiting obviously racist behavior when he referred to Spock's human ancestry (his mother's side) as a disadvantage, since Vulcan - being a society which values logic above all else - must NEVER exhibit this kind of thing, since racism is inherently illogical.
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