Conservative Politicians and Voting on Same-Sex Marriage
27 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2017
Date Written: October 26, 2017
We examine whether conservative politicians are less likely to support same-sex marriage when they run for office in safe districts using new data based on a roll-call vote in the national German parliament. The results show that the margin of the majority for the incumbent in the previous election was a strong predictor for supporting same-sex marriage. When the majority increased by one percentage point, the likelihood of voting in favour of same-sex marriage decreased by around 1.3 percentage points. We conjecture that politicians are election-motivated – even when submitting roll-call votes on a matter of conscience.
Keywords: same-sex marriage, gay rights, safe districts, vote margins, supermajorities, roll-call votes
JEL Classification: D720, D780, P160
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