Dinesh D'Souza

But states have a legitimate right to define marriage. State legislatures, drawing on tradition and appealing to the values of their constituents, have defined marriage in a very particular way. Marriage requires a) two people who are b) of legal age and c) not closely related to each other who are d) one male and one female. Note that this definition excludes people who want to marry children, or guys who want to marry their sisters, or Muslims who want to take four wives, or that strange guy who wants to marry his dog.

Now gay activists, with the acquiescence of the California high court, want to remove one of the criteria of marriage while keeping all the rest. Yet if it’s discriminatory to gays to require that marriage be between a man and a woman, why isn’t it discriminatory to Mormons and Muslims to require that it remain between two people? Isn’t incestuous marriage also between “consenting adults” who have a right to equal protection of the laws? And why doesn’t the Fourteenth Amendment protect the fellow who wants to walk down the aisle with his poodle on the grounds that “I love my dog and my dog loves me”?

The point is not that gay marriage is indistinguishable from child marriage or polygamy. The point is that any definition, and marriage is no exception, includes some people and excludes others. Consequently it’s unreasonable to say that gays have a constitutional right to over-ride the definition but other groups do not. The court’s real justification seems to have little to do with constitutional reasoning and everything to do with an assertion of political power.

Political power has its place, and that place is in the legislative and executive domain. So in the California high court decision, we see liberal jurisprudence subverting the legislature and the will of the people in order to achieve its ideological agenda. This is not about whether you think gays should be allowed to marry. If you think they should, go ahead and vote for candidates who support gay marriage. But you should still oppose the manufacture of bogus rights in order to reach a result that democracy would not by itself allow.

Attempting to insulate themselves from the political fallout, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama said very little about California’s legalization of gay marriage, muttering only that they have long opposed the idea. The real question, however, is what they would do to express this opposition. What would a President Obama do, for instance, to protect traditional marriage? Here the answer appears to be: nothing!

In the past Democrats have always appreciated courts doing their dirty work when it comes to issues like abortion, pornography, prostitution and gay rights. This way Democrats can advance their permissive agenda without having to take political responsibility for voting against the values of a majority of voters. It’s time to make the Democrats pay for this in the November election.

I know that there are gays who desperately want gay marriage, and in a way I'm happy for them. But at the same time I'm sad for constitutional democracy, which suffered a grievous blow at the hands of the California high court.

Dinesh D'Souza

Dinesh D'Souza's new book Life After Death: The Evidence is published by Regnery.