Yesterday's House Judiciary Committee vote to kill a referred measure enshrining discrimination against gays and lesbians (i.e. barring gays and lesbians from ever marrying) into our state's constitution reflects how integral religious conservatives are to the GOP's political fortunes.
The only reason for pursuing such a ballot measure is to agitate religious conservatives to get out and vote Republican. This same strategy was deployed in 2004 to mobilize religious conservatives in places like Ohio, where Bush narrowly won.
These recurring, anti-gay ballot measures are clever and effective tools that allow evangelical churches to become part of the GOP's GOTV operations without technically crossing the line prohibiting tax-exempt entities from openly advocating for a particular candidate.