* Mark Grisanti was redistricted into a safer seat.
* Gay donors are funneling money to the Republican Four, who now have mighty war chests for state Senate races.
* The GOP is discouraging other party members form challenging these four.
As for the GOP wanting the marriage equality bill to pass…
Adding to the inexorability [of the increase in support of marriage equality] is a factor pollsters refer to as “salience,” a measure of how much an issue means to you. It figures heavily in what politicians decide is safe to do. Most Americans favor restrictions on guns, for example, but gun control is stymied by salience: the people who want full gun rights care far more about the issue than those who oppose them. Opponents of gay marriage used to hold their opinion more passionately than supporters. But as more Americans have openly gay children, siblings, friends and neighbors, the supporters feel just as strongly. Another sign of seismic change: civil unions, once regarded by gay-marriage supporters as a best-we-can-hope-for compromise, have become a fallback position of the anti-marriage camp.