Eighty-five percent of the 13 Republican legislators who voted for gay marriage since the 2010 election won reelection, a new report has concluded.
The report, titled Pro-Marriage Legislators Win Elections
, was compiled by Freedom to Marry and Third Way.
"Supporting marriage for gay couples should no longer be considered a political risk for Democrats – even those in moderate districts," the report's authors wrote
. "In fact, all but 1 of the 139 Democrats who ran without being under an ethics investigation won re-election. For Republicans, the issue may still play a small role in primary campaigns, but at least 85% of Republican legislators who voted for marriage since the 2010 election did not lose their seat because of it. By the 2014 election, we expect marriage votes to have an even more negligible effect than they had in 2012."
The report refutes talking points of opponents in dismissing the more than 100 prominent Republicans who have filed a legal brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Proposition 8, California's amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.
In interviews on CNN and CBN, Thomas Peters of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) insisted that Republicans who support marriage equality lose elections.
"If you look at this list of Republican signers, the one thing they almost all have in common is that they are not in office anymore. They don't have to face the voters with their new marriage views. ... [W]hen Republicans switch their views on marriage, they lose elections. ... The Republican Party, I think, is strongly pro-marriage. It's our opponents who are trying to confuse the issue," he said.
Jon Cowan, president of Third Way, said the report shows that supporting marriage equality is an asset for lawmakers.
"The 2012 election illustrated that moderate Americans have largely completed their journey on this issue and now see a lawmaker's support for marriage equality as a reason to vote for, not against, that candidate," Cowan said in a statement. "This latest comprehensive study of the fate of state legislators who voted for marriage makes evident that pro-marriage legislators of both parties can win in districts that span the regional and ideological spectrum."