Attention NY Senators: Evidence that Pro-Marriage Legislators Get Re-Elected
November 10, 2009From Evan Wolfson today as the New York Senate considers voting on marriage equality in the special session:
"For years and years now, legislators who vote for the freedom to marry have been re-elected, according to this Freedom to Marry report and documentation. NY's Senators should do the right thing and pass the marriage bill."
Freedom to Marry's report Pro-Marriage Legislators Win Elections shows that contrary to some political expectations, voting to support the freedom to marry and opposing anti-marriage measures helps rather than hurts politicians.
From the report:
“The night I took the vote in June, I was told I would never be elected again. I’m running unopposed.”(Link)
— Rep. Teresa R. Sayward, R-North Country, NY, describing her experience with voting for a marriage equality bill in 2007 and getting re-elected in upstate New York in 2008
An analysis of election results is unequivocal: exhibiting leadership by voting to support the freedom to marry helps rather than hurts politicians. For many years legislators across the country have voted on laws aimed at ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. Others have been asked to vote on state constitutional amendments aimed at discriminating against same-sex couples and their children by denying them the freedom to marry.
A review of all of these votes from 2005 to the present shows that legislators who vote to end marriage discrimination for same-sex couples are consistently re-elected. The success of more than 1,100 state legislators who voted to support the freedom to marry stands in bold contrast to the commonly held belief that supporting marriage equality ends political campaigns and careers. In fact, these legislators are re-elected no matter what party they represent or if they changed their vote from opposing to supporting marriage equality.