A new study concludes that a large majority of legislators who supported gay marriage won re-election nationwide.

Freedom to Marry, the nationwide marriage equality group headed by Evan Wolfson, looked at 1100 state legislators from four states that have voted on gay marriage bills since 2005. Nearly all of these politicians were re-affirmed by their constituents, debunking the misconception that gay marriage support ends political careers.

Lawmakers from both political parties met with equal success.

In Massachusetts, legislators who opposed an amendment that would re-ban gay marriage in the state won all of their re-election campaigns in 2004, 2006 and again in 2008. Several lawmakers who were initially opposed to gay marriage but voted against the amendment also won re-election.

Lawmakers who voted on two gay marriage bills introduced in the California Legislature swept seats in both the 2006 and 2008 general election.

In New York, a 2007 gay marriage bill voted on by the Assembly gathered 81 votes from lawmakers who sought re-election in 2008, all of whom retained their seats.

Despite intense pressure from anti-gay constituents, many New York Republican assembly members voted for the gay marriage bill. All of the Republican lawmakers won re-election.

And all legislative members of the Connecticut Legislature's Joint Judiciary Committee that supported gay marriage in 2007 won re-election the following year.

“Exhibiting leadership by voting to support the freedom to marry helps rather than hurts politicians,” the group said in releasing their report.

Additionally, the group looked at the political consequences of voting against a constitutional gay marriage ban and concluded there were none.

“In the 17 different state legislatures that have voted on an anti-gay constitutional amendment since 2005, none of the 670 legislatures who voted against discrimination lost because of their stand when they next faced the voters,” the report says.

On the Net: Freedom to Marry is at www.freedomtomarry.org