Debra J. Saunders

What next? Baxter wondered if in the future an "activist" court might look at this opinion and "conclude, on the basis of a perceived evolution in community values, that the laws prohibiting polygamous and incestuous marriages were no longer constitutionally justified."

Baxter stipulated, "In no way do I equate same-sex unions with incestuous and polygamous relationships as a matter of social policy or social acceptance." His point is that George and company opened "the door to similar treatment of other, less deserving, claims of a right to marry."

Mayor Gavin Newsom went on CNN to chide the fogies of the world who see this decision as a threat to civilization as we know it.

Newsom is right. America will not fall into the sea and Western civilization will not collapse.

In fact, this decision changed little. California law already has ensured equal rights for gays and lesbians. All this ruling did is change a name.

In short, there was no substantive reason for the court to rule as it did. And in jumping in too soon, the judges have created a permanent opposition -- similar to the permanent opposition to abortion laws -- that would not exist if California voters had changed the law for themselves, as they eventually would have done.

Which makes the George court's decision all that much more heavy-handed.

Debra J. Saunders

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