Iowa Is Third State To Allow Same-Sex Marriages

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Vermont and New Hampshire decisions are up next after gay marriage victories in Iowa and Sweden.

The Iowa Supreme Court struck down a same-sex marriage ban today, making Iowa the third state where same-sex marriage is legal. The Atlantic reported, "Iowa's Supreme Court ruled that the state cannot prohibit same-sex couples from seeking marriage licenses."

Across the pond, the Swedish Parliament voted that as of May 1, same-sex marriages will be granted there as well. The law was passed by 226 votes to 22, according to BBC News.

"The decision means that gender no longer has an impact on the ability to marry and that the law on registered partnership is repealed," the Swedish government said on their official website.

These victories are crucial to the future rulings in Vermont and New Hampshire where legislation sits on the table awaiting final approval.

Although Vermont took steps towards legalizing same-sex marriage, a veto looms overhead. Despite passing a 95-to-52 vote by The Vermont House yesterday, Governor Jim Douglas, a Republican, has threatened to veto. According to CNN, the Governor’s veto could be overridden by a two-thirds vote. That override vote could take place as soon as Tuesday.

In March, a bill allowing same-sex marriage in New Hampshire was moved to the Senate after getting passed in the House. "It actually took two votes for the bill to pass," reports said. "The first time it failed by one vote, before nine representatives changed their vote the second time." Although New Hampshire Governor John Lynch opposes gay marriage, he has not promised a veto.

Although New Jersey has not joined nearby states Connecticut and Massachusetts in legalizing same-sex marriage (civil unions are legal in New Jersey), one local man demanded equal rights for Garden State gays and lesbians by standing up to eHarmony and challenging them to expand their services to accommodate same-sex singles. As a result of his lawsuit, the company, which has about 14 million registered users, has launched Compatible Partners.

According to The Star-Ledger,"the state agency ruled that Eric McKinley, who filed the suit, will receive $5,000 and free membership in the gay dating service for a year. eHarmony must also pay the state Attorney General's Office $50,000 for its troubles."

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