More than a caution -- a warning:
Republican primary voters in New York punished two incumbents last week who voted to legalize same-sex marriage, firing a potential warning shot nationwide toward GOP lawmakers who could soon face tough votes in their states.
Two of the four veteran — and long-secure — Republican senators in New York who voted for same-sex marriage a year ago await counts of absentee ballots as they sweat out the political fight of their lives. A third announced his retirement this year in the face of strong opposition to his gay marriage vote.
... In Maryland, the referendum is on a law passed this year after opponents submitted enough signatures to put the question on the ballot. Two Republicans in the House and one in the Senate voted for gay marriage and all face election in 2014.
"Any Republican legislator faced with this vote is going to think twice," said Robert Bellafiore, a political commentator and former top aide to Republican Gov. George Pataki of New York. "I don't think there is any question this going to have a chilling effect across the country."
In Minnesota, Steve Smith, who was one of the longest serving House Republicans, lost his GOP primary last month to a candidate with tea party supporters. His opposition to a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage was one of the reasons. -- AP