I have had a chance to quickly read the Iowa gay marriage decision. Here are some initial thoughts (subject to correction or revision upon further reflection!). First, people here that I've talked to are generally surprised that the court was unanimous and that it fully endorsed same sex marriage, not something like civil unions. The court's unanimity, in my view, is a definite sign that the court wanted to maximize its institutional legitimacy by joining together, despite the fact that its members have disagreements in numerous other cases. The court also reasoned pretty bluntly that civil unions amounted to treating gay people as second class citizens. Second, regardless of one's view on the gay marriage issue, I think this is a well crafted legal opinion for several reasons.