The state Supreme Court ruling legalized gay marriage which has created Iowa as a wedding destination.
As reported by the Star Tribune, that April 3, 2009, decision, followed about three weeks later by the issuing of marriage licenses, led to 1,783 same-sex weddings by year's end. Of those, 1,044 of the couples came from outside the state.
The ruling drew a couple from St. Paul, Minn., to board a bus with eight other gay couples last August and made a 250-mile drive to marry in a church in Des Moines.
"I felt relieved," said Olly Staneslow as reported to the Star Tribune. "We know it's not legal (in Minnesota) yet, but we've done everything we absolutely could."
Staneslow and Judith Weir were among 100 Minnesota same-sex couples who wed last year in Iowa, ranking the state second among those sending gay couples there to marry. Illinois topped the list at 172 the Star Tribune reported.
The Iowa Supreme Court's decision came in a case pushed by the gay-rights group Lambda Legal. The justices upheld an August 2007 decision that found a state law limiting marriage to a man and a woman violates constitutional equal-protection rights.