A Louisiana justice of the peace who refused to marry a couple because the bride was white and groom was black has resigned.

Louisiana Secretary of State's Office spokesman Jacques Berry says Keith Bardwell's resignation is effective Tuesday.

Bardwell refused to perform the ceremony for Beth Humphrey and Terence McKay because they are of different races.

Bardwell has acknowledged he routinely recuses himself from marrying interracial couples because he believes such marriages cause harm to the couples' children.

Another justice of the peace eventually married the couple.

Humphrey and McKay have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Bardwell.