Iowa became the first state in the Midwest to approve same-sex marriage on Friday, after the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously decided that a 1998 law limiting marriage to a man and a woman was unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court said same-sex marriages could begin in Iowa in as soon as 21 days.


I have a couple of friends who have already started planning …

Is Iowa becoming the harbinger of good sense in this country?


  1. #1 Stephanie Z
    April 3, 2009

    My understanding is that they’re also the first U.S. state to allow gay marriage that has no residency requirement for marriage. Even better.

  2. #2 Joel
    April 3, 2009

    Yes indeed Stephanie, people can come to Iowa and get married. Who’d a thought. I’ve never believed I’d see the day.

    It’s been a long time since I’ve been this happy.

  3. #3 Stephanie Z
    April 3, 2009

    I hear you, Joel. I was talking with a friend at work earlier about this, and we were both grinning like idiots. And she’s single at the moment, and I’m twelve years married. I can’t imagine how much…more it has to be being there.

  4. #4 Monica
    April 3, 2009

    Yay! Iowa! I knew I was thinking of grad school there for a reason. I mean, I’m already married, but whoo hoo anyway! WHOO HOO!

  5. #5 megan
    April 3, 2009

    I’m from Iowa. Since 04 I’ve been helping it happen by getting LGBT rights and marriage equality put into the IDP Platform for 3 consecutive rounds so our Dem legislators couldn’t deny the will of their party constituents.
    First we got the state’s Civil Rights Act expanded then school bully bill pasted. Removing DOMA and proposing civil marriage bills has been an ongoing thing by our progressive House and Senators.
    By getting more and more local Dem officials elected we got the Polk Co. Recorder dept handling marriage licenses position where the director performed civil marriages submitted until it was stayed for the Supreme Court decision. Then those and others could go before to court. It took lots of dominoes getting lined up to get here. The best is that the Repugs can’t do a referendum (dumb) but have to gain a majority in both house for 2 sessions in a row to even get a constitutional ban into place.

    That’s why Howard Dean’s subversive get people hired and elected at the lower levels in the community and government matters when it finally filters up. Our Chief Justice has been working up the courts for a decades.

  6. #6 megan
    April 3, 2009

    Forgot to add that grassroots is how the extreme right has gotten so ensconced since the Reagan years using churches by running for seemingly low offices but then using them as stepping stones and legitimacy for their whack stances. That’s how they pull off the growing gut education and intellectualism by joining and running school boards saying they love family and children.

  7. #7 Marty
    April 4, 2009

    Gay marriage in Iowa!?!??! what’s next? inter-racial marriage in Texas?

    Seriously though, I count this a big victory in people not telling us what the fuck we can and can’t do. Congrats Iowa

  8. #8 postman Jim
    April 4, 2009

    have you people been seeing the comments about this on other science blogs? Take a look at this one:

  9. #9 derender
    April 4, 2009

    The only illegal thing here are the judges. Probabaly some more Clinton appointees.

    I know, since we are letting the whole world get away with murder, why don;t we appoint OJ Simpson as a federal judge? At least he would never do no wrong.

  10. #10 Stephanie Z
    April 4, 2009

    derender, that’s a fine piece of writing there, that is. I didn’t know anyone could show off that many prejudices in that few sentences.

    Of course, some of them weren’t real sentences, but still.

  11. #11 HennepinCountyLawyer
    April 5, 2009

    derender, you really ought to at least make an effort not to appear ignorant. This is the Iowa Supreme Court we’re talking about. I can flat-out guarantee the judges were not appointed by Clinton. (Hint: Iowa is a state.)

  12. #12 Greg Laden
    April 5, 2009

    derender, you really ought to at least make an effort not to appear ignorant.

    HCL: Sorry, but I think he may have been making an effort. Sadly.

  13. #13 derende
    April 5, 2009

    Where’s your ‘tolerance” now?

  14. #14 Walt
    April 5, 2009

    derende(r): You are such a stupid fuck you don’t even know how to spell your own stupid name so there.

  15. #15 derender
    April 5, 2009

    watch you language young man. there may be one lady present.

  16. #16 Ace of Sevens
    April 6, 2009

    Quick legal primer to derender: this was the Iowa Supreme Court. In most states, including Iowa, the SUpreme Court is appointed by the governor. Two of the justices supporting this opinion, the one who wrote it and the chief justice, were appointed by Terry Brantstad, conservative Republican and former Iowa governor. There are no states where any of the Supreme Court was appointed by Clinton, including Arkansas because their supreme court is elected, which strikes me as a bad idea.

  17. #17 derender
    April 6, 2009

    Well, whoever appointed them did not do their research very well. if I were going to appoint someone to this position of supreme power, i would want to know every detail of everything that happened in their life including and especially their political ideologies. Someone put them into power, but only the state congress can remove them through impeachment.

  18. #18 Greg Laden
    April 6, 2009

    Derender, what is the problem? They did the right thing. Marriage among gay people is a constitutional right. Just like civil rights and women’s rights, the courts are ahead of the legislature.

    Do you know why the courts are ahead of the legislature? Because the legislature exists in that twilight land between Justice and Right and the dogmatic regressive selfish majority. The legislature is dragged down by the regressive conservatives.

    This is why I love America. I love America because people like you are on their way out and people like A.S. are on the way in. You don’t kneed to know who A.S is but I think she just bought a ticket to Iowa.

  19. #19 Cotku
    April 7, 2009

    Derender…come on. Quit just copying and pasting your comments from other ScienceBlogs. If you’re so “smart” and “right” you can at least type a new comment.

    I’m sure there are several ladies here. I’m one of them.

    GO GO IOWA. There, had to let out some unbridled enthusiasm.

  20. #20 Tom L
    April 7, 2009

    I predict a new trend in vacation activities for same-sex couples: collecting marriage licenses by state. Where shall we spend our vacation this year? I think a whole wall full of marriage licenses would make an interesting statement on one’s own benighted state.

    Heterosexual couples could do it too, also as a statement. We have our marriage license from our own state, but we prefer to display the one(s) from the state(s) where equality before the law actually means something.

  21. #21 david kcmo
    April 7, 2009

    Yeah IOWA!!! As a homo from MO, I’m overly elated and hopeful the hicks and rednecks in my state WILL note the absence of smiteful divine intervention as my sisters and brothers up north are recognized as legal and dignified.