Here's a brief excerpt from the ruling:
“We are firmly convinced the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further any important governmental objective. The legislature has excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification. There is no material fact, genuinely in dispute, that can affect this determination.”
This victory is important on many levels. First, it is only the third state in the country to currently offer marriage licenses to same-sex couples. But just as it importantly, it represents the first Midwestern state to overturn a gay marriage ban and legalize same-sex marriage (other liberal states like Massachusetts and Connecticut have passed same-sex marriage laws, and just last week the Vermont House passed a same-sex marriage bill although the state’s governor has promised to veto the bill) . Although you might not think of the state of Iowa as being at the forefront of liberal politics, the state does have a history of progressive politics. It struck down slavery in 1839 and segregation in 1868 and 1873.
Will last week’s victory in Iowa be the tipping point in the battle over gay marriage? Only time will tell, but I think we’re starting to get closer.