It reminds one of the life cycle of the cicada. Every four years, the gay marriage issue rears up and threatens the very existence of our republic. A furious burst of political activity ensues, characterized by a flurry of would-be laws being placed on state ballots nationwide for consideration by a vote of the people.
Some succeed, others don't. The real purpose is to turn out "The Base," which will, while they are angrily wearing a hole with their pencil into the optical scan ballot at the place that would ratify the anti-gay question, vote for the Republican candidate before they go back to sleep, politically speaking.
We should take one moment to think about not just how cynical, but how patronizing of "The Base" this strategy is. It assumes that there is a large portion of the electorate that will not even bother to turn out to vote in a presidential election unless there is a sweetener involved.
For the rest of us, the question would seem almost quaint and irrelevant, under current circumstances, if it didn't have such a potentially disastrous effect on people.