In what has been described as "the most conservative state in the union," Mississippi voters last night defeated -- no, trashed -- the anti-stem cell, anti-freedom, anti-woman nonsense known as Initiative 26, the Personhood Amendment.
If ever there was a state religious extremists could control and dominate, Mississippi certainly seemed like it.
Even Republican Governor Haley Barbour, while admittedly having "concerns" about the initiative, caved to the pressure and voted for it.
No less a Republican luminary than Mitt Romney said he would sign a Constitutional amendment supporting the central tenet of Amendment 26:
An advertisement released by the national Democratic Party last week linked Romney's support for a federal amendment stating life starts at conception to Mississippi Initiative 26... In an October 1 interview, Romney replies "Absolutely," when Mike Huckabee asks him if he would support a federal "personhood" amendment.
The anti-research opposition had every advantage: funding, the use of certain churches for organizing centers, the backing of powerful Religious Right political groups like the Family Research Council, the support of the Republican hierarchy -- even a few scared Democrats who temporarily forgot which side they were on -- and the fact that no state has fewer advantages in terms of wealth or education.
But Mark Twain's state prevailed. Mississippians came through for their state, our America, and the world.They saw through the shenanigans, and defeated Amendment 26 overwhelmingly, 55-45%.
One day, when a free Mississippi establishes a stem cell research center, dedicated to healing the sick, we should look back, and remember this day.
Thank you, Mississippi.