After last fall's defeat of a GOP-driven effort to ban gay marriage in Minnesota, some Republican lawmakers are leaving open the possibility they might vote to legalize same-sex marriage.
But a review of gay marriage votes in other states shows that Republicans who support it often pay a heavy political price.
Eight U.S. legislatures have voted to legalize gay marriage. Only 47 Republicans out of hundreds voted for those bills since 2009, and only 21 of those 47 are still in office. Some lost primaries and some retired. Others were shunned by colleagues.
Majority Democrats might be able to pass gay marriage on their own, but some rural Democrats may be reluctant to sign on. That could make Republican votes important.