As a cultural observer, I am quite dismayed at the ruling in Iowa. Going through the ruling though, there are parts that are difficult to disagree with from a cultural perspective.
[Plaintiffs] also submitted evidence to show that most scientific research has repudiated the commonly assumed notion that children need opposite-sex parents or biological parents to grow into well-adjusted adults.
Take this beyond gay marriage. Society really does no longer believe in a special and sacred bond and trust between a child and their biological mother and father. Thank you adoption industry. Thank you divorce industry.
Therefore, with respect to the subject and purposes of Iowa’s marriage laws, we find that the plaintiffs are similarly situated compared to heterosexual persons. Plaintiffs are in committed and loving relationships, many raising families, just like heterosexual couples. Moreover, official recognition of their status provides an institutional basis for defining their fundamental relational rights and responsibilities, just as it does for heterosexual couples. Society benefits, for example, from providing same sex couples a stable framework within which to raise their children and the power to make health care and end-of-life decisions for loved ones, just as it does when that framework is provided for opposite-sex couples.
For those keeping score at home, marriage is an honorific given by one person to another noting their love and commitment. Children are not intrinsic to a particular family but commodities that are acquired through procreation, divorce, or adoption.
Oh, and as a note to same sex couples, Iowa does have common law marriage, so you may already be married, even if you didn’t think you would be.