Gay marriage support has risks for GOP lawmakers - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Gay marriage support has risks for GOP lawmakers

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- As more state legislatures around the country vote to legalize same-sex weddings, an analysis of gay marriage votes in eight other states shows that the few GOP lawmakers who backed it often faced heavy consequences.

A gay marriage debate is likely to hit Minnesota's Legislature soon. The Illinois Senate voted Thursday to legalize gay marriage, sending the bill to the House. Similar debates are under way or could start soon in Rhode Island, Delaware, Hawaii and New Jersey.

In the eight previous states, only 47 Republicans out of hundreds voted for such bills since 2009. Only 21 are still in office. Some lost primaries, some retired and others were shunned by colleagues. In Illinois on Thursday, only 1 out of 19 Senate Republicans voted to make gay marriage legal.

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