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