AN interracial couple in Louisiana have been denied a marriage license by an official who considers their union morally wrong, according to local media.
“I’m not a racist,” Keith Bardwell, a justice of the peace in rural Tangipahoa Parish, told the Hammond Star.
“I do ceremonies for black couples right here in my house. My main concern is for the children.”
Mr Bardwell told the paper that he believes interracial marriages do not last and that the children of such unions are not accepted by either the black or white community.
Now of course Bardwell is bonkers to think it is his job to decide whether or not a couple should be able to get married, based on his beliefs. He does the classic groupist error of applying a generalisation to everyone (and of thinking it is his decision anyway).
It did get me interested in what is the prevalance of “mixed race” marriages and whether or not their divorce rates are higher than “same race” marriages.
In NZ we have traditionally had a high rate of mixed race marriages, as all modern Maori New Zealanders have at least one European ancestor. I do wonder if we have current stats on this – presumably the census data could reveal this.
In the US, only 2.8% of black women and 6.6% of black men had a white spouse. While 41% of Asian women have a white husband and 36% of Asian men have a white wife. So a big difference in prevalence depending on the races involved.
In terms of divorce rates Wikipedia says:
Marital stability studies published on the Education Resources Information Center found that White female-Black male unions are more prone to result in a divorce than White-White marriages are, while Black female-White male marriages show similar or lower risks of divorce than White-White marriages.
So Bardwell is wrong with his generalisation also.
As I said, I would be interested to see what the prevalence of mixed race/culture marriages are in NZ, and if there are differences in the divorce rates. Anyone know of any studies already done?