All right, I’ll jump on the landmine since no one else seems willing.

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last week overturned Proposition 8, California’s voter-initiated ban on government recognition of gay marriage.

It was the wrong decision both because it goes against the will of the people of California and because legalizing gay marriage is just an all-around bad idea.

Kaboom.

Much hoopla has surrounded the 2-1 ruling last week in which two judges endorsed a homosexual lower court judge’s earlier ruling that Prop. 8 was unconstitutional because it deprived gay couples of the “right” to marry.

In upholding the lower court ruling, the majority wrote that Prop. 8’s sole purpose was to render gays second-class citizens.

Liberals trumpet the decision as an advance for civil rights.

Ignored in the celebrating is the fact that there was another opinion issued that day which, although it was not in the majority, underscores the valid reasoning of the majority of voters who supported Prop. 8 and the fallacies of the gay marriage movement.

Judge N. Randy Smith stood up for common sense and traditional morality in his dissenting opinion, when he said that governments have an interest in ìa responsible procreation theory, justifying the inducement of marital recognition only for opposite-sex couples.î

Predictably, he’s caught flack for that. In this obtuse day and age, Smith had the temerity to point out that heterosexual couples are the only ones capable of producing children from their union.

Smith also supported the superiority of a traditional parenting model: ìThe family structure of two committed biological parents -ñ one man and one woman -ñ is the optimal partnership for raising children.î This fact has been borne out in numerous studies. Children do better with a mommy and a daddy.

In less self-indulgent eras, those truths were considered obvious.

But they are obscured by the propaganda of the homosexual lobbying groups, which the media are only too happy to repeat and enshrine. Liberals have controlled the conversation about gay marriage up to this point, making arguments for tradition seem like mean-spirited personal attacks but then turning around and attacking anyone who opposes the liberal gay agenda.

Truthfully, none of the many reasons against gay marriage implies hatred or suggests that gays are inferior or that they should be denied their right to work, find housing, vote or whatever, so it’s high time people who hold to traditional morality start speaking up.

Homosexuals have the right to choose their lifestyle. They don’t have the right to force other people to endorse it.

Chief among the falsehoods being spread by the gay lobby is that gay marriage is a civil rights cause. It is not.

Rights are inherent in a person by virtue of being born a human being.

The gay lobby has gotten great mileage out of hiding behind the cloak of civil rights, but homosexuality is a behavior, not an inherent quality, despite occasional claims that people are born “that way.”

Unless they’re mentally incapacitated, all humans have control over their behavior, which means they have a choice, for which they are morally responsible.

As far as the argument that gays are being denied a right given to others, that’s false on its face. Gays have the same marriage rights as everyone else, which is to say they can marry someone of the opposite gender who is of an adult age and is capable of giving informed consent. Nobody else is getting something gays are not.

If a gay couple wants to be in a “marriage” and go through a ceremony, there are plenty of churches willing to provide.

What the gay marriage movement is about is not restoring a civil right, but using the cudgel of government to force people to endorse the morality of the gay lifestyle.

To do so, the nature of marriage, a bedrock principle of all societies, will be changed — not just the definition, but the nature of marriage.

As Judge Smith pointed out, marriage is ultimately about responsible procreation. The institution of marriage fulfills two functions by providing a nation’s next generation and raising that generation to be upstanding members of society.

Gay marriage fulfills neither function. Gay couples cannot naturally reproduce, and their parental arrangement is not ideally suited to raising children to accept and fulfill society’s norms.

Whereas the institution of marriage is geared toward growing and supporting society, gay marriage is about sex and self-indulgence. That is demonstrated in the behavior of the gay rights movement in general, where it is always traditional society that is expected to make accommodations, never gays who have to change to support traditional social norms.

The definition of marriage as between a man and a woman is rooted in self-evident biology. Legally endorsing gay marriage would be completely arbitrary. Once you’ve done that, it’s only a matter of time before someone will start pressing for the “right” to marriages involving incest, polygamy, bestiality and pedophilia, and legally there will be no grounds for saying no.

Some liberal heterosexuals who are currently married sneer that gay marriage won’t affect their own union.

Of course it won’t, but it will affect the outlook, attitude and actions of future generations.

Ultimately, if an arbitrary and moveable standard of marriage is adopted, then why would anyone want to marry? If marriage is just about sex, and children are just incidental, well who needs a government-issued piece of paper for that?

Gays claim to want marriage precisely because it is special.

But if you want to bring the institution of marriage closer to elimination, you’d be hard pressed to find a better way to do it than legalizing gay marriage.

Tad Cronn is the editor in chief of The Patriots Almanac, a nonprofit educational quarterly magazine.