New Hampshire became the sixth state to legalize gay marriage Wednesday in a move that reflects the state's changing demographics from reliably Republican and conservative to younger and more liberal.
The Senate and House passed key language on religious rights, Gov. John Lynch - who personally opposes gay marriage - signed the legislation Wednesday afternoon.
Lynch, a Democrat, had promised a veto if the law didn't clearly spell out that churches and religious groups would not be forced to officiate at gay marriages or provide other services. Legislators made the changes.
One of the great principles behind the concept of federalism is that states are free to try policies which they believe to be good. As other states see those policies unfold, they are also free to decide whether or not those policies are right for them. Thus, government itself is subjected to, and limited by, the power of competition, which is merely the freedom of individuals to choose for themselves. If you believe that gay marriage is a good thing, then allowing states to choose for themselves allows them the freedom to adopt this good idea, and any other good idea, despite national opposition. If you think gay marriage is a bad idea, then allowing states the freedom to try it will provide further evidence that it's not a good idea. Either way, the entire country benefits when states and individuals are free.
Of course, those who don't believe in freedom despise the concept of federalism. Those who hate federalism want to restrict the freedom of people to choose in all areas because they do not want to risk being left behind.
Repealing the 17th Amendment would strengthen federalism, protect liberty, and encourage the development of more good ideas from which we can all benefit.