Iowa’s Catholic bishops have voiced serious disagreement with the Iowa Supreme Court’s unanimous decision on April 3 to declare unconstitutional a state law defining marriage as a union of one man and one woman. “It implements a novel understanding of marriage, which will grievously harm families and children,” the bishops said in a prepared statement. The bishops vowed to continue to protect and promote marriage as a union between a man and a woman and asked Catholics and other citizens of Iowa to amend the state constitution to do so. The decision further allows gay and lesbian couples full access to the institution of civil marriage. With the high court’s ruling, Iowa became the third state in the nation to recognize marriages for gay and lesbian couples, after Massachusetts and Connecticut. Vermont became the fourth state to do so on April 7, 2009.