Keith Bardwell, the Tangipahoa Parish justice of the peace who refused to marry interracial couple Beth Humphrey and Terence McKay a few weeks resigned today after several weeks of resisting calls to step down from several civil rights groups, Governor Bobby Jindal (R) other Louisiana officials and U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA).
Bardwell's term wasn't due to expire until 2014, but quit with a one sentence statement to Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne and no explanation of his decision.
"I do hereby resign the office of Justice of the Peace for the Eighth Ward of Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, effective November 3, 2009."
He also didn't immediately return a call for comment about his resignation
Gov. Bobby Jindal called Bardwell's resignation "long overdue."
"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 released by his office.
Humphrey and McKay have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Bardwell, who was elected in 1975 as justice of the peace for Ponchatoula, LA., a town 55 miles north of New Orleans. He claimed before this drama unfolded that this was going to be his last term.
Looks like it ended sooner than he planned. If some couple had spoken up about the injustice that happened to them earlier, he wouldn't have lasted in office this long.