United Church of Christ leaders in the USA have hailed a unanimous decision by the Iowa Supreme Court to reject the state's ban on same-gender marriage as unconstitutional - writes J. Bennett Guess.
Iowa now joins Massachusetts and Connecticut in becoming the third state to allow same-sex couples to marry.
"Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa are three states whose cultures were shaped profoundly by the Congregational experience," said the Rev. John H. Thomas, UCC general minister and president. "I can't help but believe and affirm that there is a connection at work here."
The United Church of Christ has 179 local churches in Iowa and Grinnell College - one of state's most prominent liberal arts schools - is historically related to the denomination.
"Words can hardly express how delighted and relieved I am for same sex couples in Iowa - more than a few of whom are my friends - for whom the Iowa Supreme Court's ruling is a gift," said the Rev Rich Pleva, UCC Iowa Conference Minister. "I'm also aware that the people and churches of the Iowa Conference are not of one mind on this issue. This is a time to underscore and affirm our covenant to being of one heart and one body, even at times when we may not agree."
More at Ekklesia.