Here's the New York Times editorial on the Iowa Supreme decision on gay marriage...
Like the state’s earlier landmark civil rights cases — striking down slavery in 1839, for example, and segregation in 1868 and 1873 — the ruling on gay marriage by Iowa’s Supreme Court is a refreshing message of fairness and common sense from the nation’s heartland. [...]
In finding no “persuasive justification” for the different treatment of committed gay and lesbian couples, the Iowa Supreme Court affirmed a lower court holding of two years ago. That ruling overturned, on equal protection grounds, a 1998 state law confining civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman. Same-sex marriages could begin in Iowa before the month is out.
The new decision says marriage is a civil contract and should not be defined by religious doctrine or views. “We are firmly convinced the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further an important governmental objective,” wrote Justice Mark Cady, a Republican appointee. “The legislature has excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification.”