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Poll: Only 40% of Mississippi Republicans Think Interracial Marriage Should Be Legal

By April 7, 2011

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Yeah, you read that right. Public Policy Polling's study of the 2011 Mississippi gubernatorial race found that a plurality (46%) of Mississippi Republicans want to ban interracial marriage, a minority (40%) want to keep it legal, and a small percentage (14%) are actually undecided.

Mississippi's law banning interracial marriage was rendered unenforceable when the Supreme Court handed down its ruling in Loving v. Virginia (1967), establishing that marriage is a civil right protected by the U.S. Constitution.

Mississippi has been in the news a great deal lately as Governor Haley Barbour refused to distance himself from a Sons of Confederate Veterans proposal that would honor a founding member of the KKK with a state commemorative license plate. His likely successor, incumbent lieutenant governor and GOP gubernatorial frontrunner Phil Bryant, rose to prominence by fabricating numbers that targeted undocumented immigrants as the source of Mississippi's budget woes. His current campaign is based on his opposition to the Voting Rights Act and his current proposal to hold two consecutive legislative elections rather than concede new majority-black districts as a result of the 2010 census.

As a native Mississippian, I do feel the need to point out that there are fewer Republicans than Democrats in Mississippi, and that the state has both the nation's highest per-capita black population (37%) and the nation's largest Legislative Black Caucus. This means that Mississippi is polarized on civil rights, largely on racial lines. The lesson of 2011 is that Mississippi has further to go on this issue than most of us had realized, that the stereotype of Mississippi as a racist, backwards state has a very strong basis in reality, and that those of us in Mississippi who support civil rights must be prepared to work harder, and make more enemies within the white establishment, if we're going to change the status quo.

Related: Civil Liberties in Mississippi


April 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm
(1) Dlc says:

I’d like to see the poll of how many Democrats feel the same way. I’m guessing a very similar number.

April 7, 2011 at 6:08 pm
(2) Jennifer says:

This state never ceases to amaze me. We have an obesity problem, a teen pregnancy rate that is through the roof, most of our counties are WAY above the national unemployment rate, extreme poverty in rural areas, and oh yeah-oil still in the Gulf waters, yet these a**hats want to worry about whether two people who love each other yet belong to different races want to marry. I grow more and more ashamed living here with each passing day.

April 12, 2011 at 3:38 pm
(3) Bob says:

Mississippi is really the poster state for what is wrong in America today. Racism, sexism, and income inequality are transforming the United States into a banana republic. We need to realize that we are all in this life together, and that a rising tide will lift all boats making things better for everyone. It does not have to be a zero sum game in which my gain is your loss and vice versa.

April 26, 2011 at 6:28 pm
(4) Rod Flash says:

The poll only questioned 400 Mississppi voters, and 25% of them self identified as liberal or moderate. I’m not sure this is a very good representation of the state. Having said that, I’m not sure I’m in favor of marraige between Mississippians. Also, I’m curious. If they polled Mississippi African American democrats with the same question, I wonder what the results would be.

April 12, 2012 at 5:29 pm
(5) Brent Waller says:

Interacial marrige messes up the children, it also messes up the gene pool, if u dont like MS then stay out, as we dont need any of u idiots down here. Interacial marrige should be considered child abuse if a child is born unto it

May 11, 2012 at 4:07 pm
(6) TS says:

Brent Waller you’re an idiot and is what is wrong with this country. How can we move forward when people like you are holding us back?

June 22, 2012 at 12:34 pm
(7) Charlie Sommers says:

Brent Waller, I suppose that we should forgive you for your comment since your poor syntax pretty much indicates that you are an uneducated man. Marriage outside your race produces children that have a wider genetic pool and are usually healthier. I married an Asian woman, who is considered a woman of color, 50 years ago and have children and grandchildren that did, and are doing, fine

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