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