It's been a good week for the gay community as two more states pass laws to allow same-sex marriage, doubling the number.
The surprise came about a week ago when Iowa, a state in the heartland, changed its law. "The supreme court declared unconstitutional a law denying marriage for same-sex couples. New York-based advocacy group Lambda Legal filed the Iowa lawsuit."
"It's very important for people across the country,' says Lambda's Kevin Cathcart, "to realize this is not something that only happens on the East Coast or the West Coast, but that actually gay people actually have and deserve equal rights across the country."
Vermont just became the fourth state to allow same-sex marriage when its legislature overturned a veto by its governor.
Iowa and Vermont join, Massachusetts and Connecticut, to allow same-sex marriage in it's legislature.
"New Hampshire and New Jersey permit civil unions. California, Oregon and Washington allow domestic partnerships, which extend many of the benefits of marriage."
A recent CBS News poll found that 33% of Americans support same-sex marriage, an increase of 22% back in 2004. 41% of those under 45 support it while those over 65 show less support.
You may wonder if same sex marriage will ever be recognized by all 50 states?
"Even if public opinion keeps moving in the direction, it's sort of slowing-moving," says Joe Matthews of the New America Foundation. "It's not something that's going to happen in a couple of years. It's gonna take 10 years or 20 years before you see broad recognition of same-sex marriage."
"The day when the whole country embraces same-sex marriage may indeed be may be a long way off, David observes: Twenty-nine states have voted for a constitutional ban. And Californians recently voted to eliminate same sex marriages, though that vote is being contested in the courts."
New York states Gov. David Paterson recently said he plans to re-introduce legislation to make same-sex marriages legal in N.Y. YAHOO!
Paterson has been an outspoken supporter of marriage equality for same-sex couples. However, the Legislature bill would have to pass both houses. In 2007 former Gov. Spitzer's marriage bill stalled in the Senate. Now with the Senate in Democratic hands, gay-rights groups are more optimistic of the bill's passage this year.
Sources - CBS NEWS: Same-Sex Marriage Legalization Inevitable?
ithacajournal.com: Gov. Paterson to re-introduce same-sex marriage bill