Gay Marriage Victory in Iowa, Veto Threat in Vermont

Gay marriage became a little more mainstream Friday when the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously upheld a lower court’s ruling that the state’s ban on same-sex unions was unconstitutional. The high court agreed that a law restricting marriage to one man and one woman violated the state constitution’s equal protection clause. The legislature “excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification,” the justices concluded. Read the court’s decision here.

According to news reports, state lawmakers have little interest in pushing for a constitutional amendment to overturn the ruling. California, watch out: the mantle of progressive leadership may be passing from you.

Meanwhile, in Vermont, both chambers of the state legislature voted by a large majority to pass a law that would grant equal marriage rights to same-sex couples. Vermont’s civil unions law offered many of the same legal benefits as marriage but GLBT advocates had argued that the two-tier system created the appearance of second-class citizenship.

Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas has vowed to veto the law. The override vote could occur as early as this Tuesday. Call the governor’s office at 802-828-3333 and ask Gov. Douglas to respect the will of the people and not stand in the way of civil rights for all families. MassEquality is also organizing a phonebank to call Vermont voters this weekend. You can make calls at their Boston office or use their nifty new telecommuting software to call from home.