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Gavin Newsom and Keith Bardwell: Heroes or Villains?

Updated on July 9, 2013

The Mayor of San Francisco

Mayor Gavin Newsome is most famous for allowing same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses despite the laws prohibiting same-sex couples to marry.
Mayor Gavin Newsome is most famous for allowing same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses despite the laws prohibiting same-sex couples to marry.

Gavin Newsom, mayor of San Francisco, gained national attention when he chose to allow same-sex couples to marry despite laws prohibiting it.

Keith Bardwell, a justice of the peace officer in Louisiana, gained notoriety for refusing to allow an interracial couple to obtain a marriage license despite the Supreme Court ruling to allow such marriages in 1967.

Gavin Newsom and Keith Bardwell were committing opposite acts – one was granting freedoms to Americans that do not have them, and the other was removing freedoms from Americans that do have them. These equal but opposite actions by people of authority are both heinous and heroic at the same time.

Americans are encouraged to fight against injustice.
Americans are encouraged to fight against injustice.

Fight for your Right!

In America, we are encouraged to stand up for what we believe in. Americans are encouraged to fight the good fight until our dying breath to make sure that what we stand for is taken seriously. The American flag, the Statue of Liberty, the World Trade Center are symbols we see often that invoke a sense of responsibility to defend whatever it is that we see as important. Whether it is healthcare for the masses, Freedom of Religion, or equal rights for all – when we see injustice, we as Americans, are almost required to stand up and fight.

Newsom and Bardwell should be commended for doing just that – standing firm in what they believe. Whether you agree with their beliefs or not, you have to give them credit for doing their duty as Americans and fighting for what they believe in. Even if it means risking their careers, serving jail for breaking laws or receiving ridicule from the masses, these men stuck to their guns and made a plea for what they believe to be right.

But are they really heroes?

At the same time, Newsom and Bardwell’s actions should be denounced. It is unacceptable for upholders of the law to break the law. Period. In order for there to be respect for the law of the land, the ones in authority need to find ways within the law to fight their fight.

When people in positions of authority choose to disregard a law that doesn’t agree with their personal beliefs, the integrity of our entire judicial system is questioned. The ability for America to extend the freedoms we live for becomes more complicated. The people of America lose trust in those we are supposed to rely on to protect, defend and improve our country.

So where is the fine line between heinous and heroic? Is it determined by the majority’s opinion? Is it determined by each individual toeing the line? Is it determined by the current law?

I am proud that there are Americans who are willing to stick their necks out for the sake of their beliefs. However, I feel that elected officials, government employees, makers of the laws and those who have taken oaths to police the law should definitely fight injustice within the limits of the law.

The Best Day of My Life

The Broussards
The Broussards


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    • broussardleslie profile imageAUTHOR

      Leslie Broussard 

      9 years ago

      I hadn't read that hub yet; thanks for the referral!

      Thank you for stopping by jiberish. I always appreciate your comments.



    • jiberish profile image


      9 years ago from florida

      I love the hub by James Watkins in which he divides the country, it would be a grand idea, that way you could actually choose where you wanted to live, and with what values. Great Hub!

    • broussardleslie profile imageAUTHOR

      Leslie Broussard 

      9 years ago

      Glad you enjoyed it, Jess!

    • Jess Killmenow profile image

      Jess Killmenow 

      9 years ago from Nowheresville, Eastern United States

      Interesting comparison! Thank you. :)


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