But the comparative quiet from party leaders would have been unimaginable even four years ago, when public opinion hadn’t yet shifted so rapidly on a signature social issue. And it marks a dramatic change among some of the top Republican donors and opinion-makers, who are supporting same-sex marriage in state-based gay legislative and legal fights, even as the official GOP platform will remain centered on traditional marriage.

“Most Republican Party leaders seem to have lost the stomach for this fight,” said Dan Schnur of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California. “Some of that results (from) the number of large-scale donors who support same-sex marriage, some of it’s a result in an increasing number of party leaders who support same-sex marriage, and a lot of it is public opinion polling which shows a shift in the way voters feel about same-sex marriage,” he added…

The muted reaction from the official GOP machinery is in stark contrast to current brouhaha about Chick-fil-A, a controversy that has been made for headlines and has clearly resonated with the party’s base, after the company’s owner came under fire for speaking against gay marriage.

Conservative stalwarts like Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum have all eaten sandwiches in solidarity after mayors like Rahm Emanuel in Chicago and Tom Menino in Boston advocated banning the eateries in their cities.