This is via my friend Ed Brayton over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars:
The Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Friday that the state must allow same-sex couples to get married. See full ruling here. Long excerpt from the ruling below the fold:
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.
We have a constitutional duty to ensure equal protection of the law. Faithfulness to that duty requires us to hold Iowa’s marriage statute, Iowa Code section 595.2, violates the Iowa Constitution. To decide otherwise would be an abdication of our constitutional duty. If gay and lesbian people must submit to different treatment without an exceedingly persuasive justification, they are deprived of the benefits of the principle of equal protection upon which the rule of law is founded. Iowa Code section 595.2 denies gay and lesbian people the equal protection of the law promised by the Iowa Constitution.
And queue the shrill cries of “unelected judges” followed shortly by vague, unsubstantiated claims that Iowa families are somehow in danger because of this ruling in 3, 2, 1…