Iowa's supreme court legalised gay marriage today in a unanimous and emphatic decision that makes Iowa the third US state and the first in the country's heartland to allow same-sex couples to wed. The mid-western state's top court upheld a lower court ruling that the state law allowing marriage only between a man and a woman is a violation of the Iowa constitution. It will be at least several weeks before gay and lesbian couples can seek marriage licenses. Court rules say it takes about about 21 days for the decision to be considered final, and a request for a rehearing could be filed within that period. However, Polk County attorney John Sarcone said his office will not ask for a rehearing.
John Lynch promptly signed the legislation, making the state the sixth to let gay couples wed. The bill had been through several permutations to satisfy Mr. Lynch and certain legislators that it would not force religious organizations that oppose same-sex marriage to participate in ceremonies celebrating it. Some groups had feared they could be sued for refusing to allow same-sex weddings on their property. The law will take effect on Jan.
A number of factors influenced that shift. Maybe one of them was Modern Family. The show became one of the few cross-culturally appealing TV works of the Obama years, viewed in red states and blue states, name-checked by Ann Romney and the president alike.
Research on same-sex relationships has informed policy debates and legal decisions that greatly affect American families, yet the data and methods available to scholars studying same-sex relationships have been limited. In this article the authors review current approaches to studying same-sex relationships and significant challenges for this research. After exploring how researchers have dealt with these challenges in prior studies, the authors discuss promising strategies and methods to advance future research on same-sex relationships, with particular attention given to gendered contexts and dyadic research designs, quasi-experimental designs, and a relationship biography approach. Innovation and advances in the study of same-sex relationships will further theoretical and empirical knowledge in family studies more broadly and increase understanding of different-sex as well as same-sex relationships.