Gay marriage celebrated its fourth anniversary in Iowa on Wednesday.

In was on April 3, 2009 that the Iowa Supreme Court handed down its unanimous Varnum v. Brien decision which brought marriage equality to the Midwest.

The following year, angry social conservatives successfully campaigned to oust three judges from the bench. The Republican-led House in 2011 approved a constitutional amendment which would define marriage as a heterosexual union, but Democrats have blocked the measure in the Senate.

Approximately 6,000 gay and lesbian couples have tied the knot In Iowa.

Donna Red Wing, executive director of One Iowa, applauded the milestone.

“Iowa is a better place because of marriage equality,” she said in a press release. “For four years now, gay and lesbian couples have been able to stand up in front of friends and family and make that lifelong commitment to one another and to have that commitment recognized by their state. To hear those words 'by the power vested in me by the state of Iowa' is powerful.”

Massachusetts will celebrate nine years of marriage equality next month.