This morning, Iowa’s Supreme Court unanimously struck down a 1998 law that restricts marriage to one man and one woman; unlike other judicial rulings that left the door open to other arrangements, the court’s decision rules out civil unions as a remedy. Says the court:
"In short, for purposes of Iowa’s marriage laws, which are designed to bring a sense of order to the legal relationships of committed couples and their families in myriad ways, plaintiffs are similarly situated in every important respect, but for their sexual orientation. As indicated above, this distinction cannot defeat the application of equal protection analysis through the application of the similarly situated concept because, under this circular approach, all distinctions would evade equal protection review. Therefore, with respect to the government’s purpose of “providing an institutional basis for defining the fundamental relational rights and responsibilities of persons,” same–sex couples are similarly situated to opposite–sex couples."
Who's next? New York? New York already recognizes gay marriages from couples legally married outside of the state.