Interracial couple's controversy draws national attention - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Interracial couple's controversy draws national attention

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By Tyana Williams - bio | email

HAMMOND, LA (WAFB) - A justice of the peace refused to marry an interracial couple. This story out of Hammond, Louisiana is gaining national attention. The couple has been flooded with interview requests from Washington and New York.

Not just phone calls. The buzz about Terence and Beth McKay has also hit the internet. Friday morning, the couple's controversy was number one on yahoo.com.

The McKay's say they never imagined their drama would attract so much attention. "I had an interview with BBC last night. CNN called," Beth says. She and husband Terence are the newest celebrity couple to hit the airwaves.

Just one day after hearing about the couple's controversy, national media shined the spotlight on Terence and Beth McKay. "I thought it'd be local. We thought just be around this area. It went international," says Terence.

The newly married McKay's say they just wanted a simple wedding ceremony. So the bride called Keith Bardwell, a justice of the peace in Robert, Louisiana. But instead of agreeing to their "I do's", Bardwell said, "I won't" because the couple is interracial.

"He said he does not do interracial couples. He's not going to marry us because your black and I'm white," Terence says recalling what Beth told him. "I was like its 2009."

The McKay's say years ago, it would not have been acceptable for them to hold hands. But to be denied marriage, they say apparently times have not changed. We haven't come far enough, Terence says.

Even though being in the spotlight is not what they planned, the couple has been encouraged by other couples to keep fighting for interracial relationships.

"We just wanted to stand up to that justice of the peace. What he did was completely illegal and wrong. We didn't want to have to take that," says Beth

"You don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. He drew the line in the sand. So we're here to stay. Side by side, thick and thin, come what will," says Terence.

The McKay's say their phones have been ringing about this issue so much so they are starting to lock up.

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