News From Our Blog

MAKE GAY MARRIAGE LEGAL IN ALL 50 STATES! Please?

Asked by an anonymous Tumblr user.

Marriage laws vary from state to state and are not determined by the federal government.

The states and areas in the U.S. that perform marriages between same-sex couples are:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois (Champaign and Cook Counties only. Marriages becomes legal in the rest of the state on June 1, 2014.)
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington

If your state is not on this list, then a law would need to be passed to make same-sex marriage legal. You can contact your state legislators to make your opinions known.

Are Fireworks Legal in Your State?

For many people, July 4th means fireworks. But before you use them, make sure they are permitted in your area and you know how to keep yourself and your friends and family safe.

Some states allow all or most types of consumer fireworks (formerly known as class C fireworks). These include shells and mortars, multiple tube devices, Roman candles, rockets, sparklers, firecrackers with no more than 50 milligrams of powder, and novelty items, such as snakes, airplanes, ground spinners, helicopters, fountains, and party poppers.

Other states only allow novelty fireworks or ban fireworks completely.

This summary of regulations is accurate as of June 1, 2013:

  • Alabama - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Alaska - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Arizona - Allows only novelty fireworks.

  • Arkansas - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • California - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Colorado - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Connecticut - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Delaware - Bans all consumer fireworks.

  • District of Columbia - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Florida - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Georgia - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Hawaii - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Idaho - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Illinois - Allows only sparklers and/or other novelties.

  • Indiana - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Iowa - Allows only sparklers and/or other novelties.

  • Kansas - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Kentucky - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Louisiana - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Maine - Allows only sparklers and/or other novelties.

  • Maryland - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Massachusetts - Bans all consumer fireworks.

  • Michigan - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Minnesota - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Mississippi - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Missouri - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Montana - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Nebraska - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Nevada - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • New Hampshire - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • New Jersey - Bans all consumer fireworks.

  • New Mexico - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • New York - Bans all consumer fireworks.

  • North Carolina - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • North Dakota - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Ohio - Allows only sparklers and/or other novelties.

  • Oklahoma - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Oregon - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Pennsylvania - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Puerto Rico - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Rhode Island - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • South Carolina - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • South Dakota - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Tennessee - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Texas - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Utah - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Vermont - Allows only sparklers and/or other novelties.

  • Virginia - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Washington - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • West Virginia - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Wisconsin - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

  • Wyoming - Allows some or all types of consumer fireworks.

Learn more about fireworks safety and laws (PDF).

How to Properly Display the American Flag

Today is recognized as National Flag Day because on June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress approved the design of a national flag. There can be confusion and questions about how to properly wear and display the American flag, especially as July 4th approaches.


Here is what the law says about using the American flag properly (PDF):

  • The flag should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water or merchandise.

  • The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free.

  • No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform.

  • The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying or delivering anything.

  • The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.

  • The flag should not be draped over the hood, top, sides or back of a vehicle or of a railroad train or a boat.

Read more rules and regulations that govern flag display (PDF), and learn more about Flag Day.

Read this post in Spanish.

It’s complicated. The Law Library of Congress explains.

I wanted to ask about the Health care. When is it taking place that everyone has to have ins.

Asked by Lee Ann on Facebook.

On January 1, 2014, you must be enrolled in a health insurance plan that meets basic minimum standards. If you aren’t, you may be required to pay an assessment. You won’t have to pay an assessment if you have very low income and coverage is unaffordable to you, or for other reasons including your religious beliefs. You can also apply for a waiver asking not to pay an assessment if you don’t qualify automatically.

View a timeline of the Affordable Care Act, including what’s changing and when.