Photography is inherently a creative, expressive art, so photographers have a strong case against compulsory documentation of ceremonies at which they must be present.Less clearly but plausibly, florists can claim aesthetic expression in floral arrangements, but their work is done before wedding ceremonies occur.Chauffeurs facilitate ceremonies, but First Amendment jurisprudence would become incoherent if it protected unwilling chauffeurs from their supposedly expressive participation in ceremonies to which they deliver actual participants.It is difficult to formulate a limiting principle that draws a bright line distinguishing essentially expressive conduct from conduct with incidental or negligible expressive possibilities.Nevertheless, it can be easy to identify some things that clearly are on one side of the line or the other.So, regarding Phillips’ creations:A cake can be a medium for creativity; hence, in some not-too-expansive sense, it can be food for thought. Phillips was neither asked nor required to attend, let alone participate in, the wedding.Same-sex marriage was not yet legal in Colorado, so Craig and Mullins were to be married in Massachusetts.The cake was for a subsequent reception in Denver.But even if the cake were to have been consumed at a wedding, Phillips’ creation of the cake before the ceremony would not have constituted participation in any meaningful sense.Six decades ago, the civil rights movement gained momentum through heroic acts of civil disobedience by African-Americans whose sit-ins at lunch counters, and other challenges to segregation in commerce, produced the “public accommodations” section of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.It established the principle that those who open their doors for business must serve all who enter.That principle would become quite porous were it suspended whenever someone claimed his or her conduct was speech expressing an idea, and therefore created a constitutional exemption from a valid and neutral law of general applicability. (He also refuses, for religious reasons, to make Halloween cakes.)To be compelled to do so would, he says, violate his constitutional right to speak freely.This, he says, includes the right not to be compelled to contribute his expressive cake artistry to a ceremony or occasion celebrating ideas or practices he does not condone.Well.The First Amendment speaks of speech.Its presence in a political document establishes its core purpose as the protection of speech intended for public persuasion.The amendment has, however, been rightly construed broadly to protect many expressive activities. Many, but there must be limits. However, it certainly, and primarily, is food.And the creator’s involvement with it ends when he sends it away to those who consume it. Phillips ought to lose this case. But Craig and Mullins, who sought his punishment, have behaved abominably.To make his vocation compatible with his convictions and Colorado law Phillips has stopped making wedding cakes, which was his principal pleasure and 40 percent of his business.He now has only four employees, down from 10.Craig and Mullins, who have caused him serious financial loss and emotional distress, might be feeling virtuous for having done so.But siccing the government on him was nasty. Categories: Editorial, OpinionWASHINGTON — The conversation about a cake lasted less than a minute but will long reverberate in constitutional law.On Tuesday, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear 60 minutes of speech about when, if at all, making a cake counts as constitutionally protected speech and, if so, what the implications are for the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s contention that Jack Phillips violated the state’s law against sexual-orientation discrimination.Phillips, 61, is a devout Christian and proprietor of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., where he works as — his description — a cake artist.Charlie Craig and David Mullins entered his shop to order a cake to celebrate their wedding.Phillips said that although he would gladly make cakes for gay people for birthdays or other celebrations, he disapproves of same-sex marriage on religious grounds, and so does not make cakes for such celebrations. Denver has many bakers who, not having Phillips’ scruples, would have unhesitatingly supplied the cake they desired.So, it was not necessary for Craig’s and Mullins’ satisfaction as consumers to submit Phillips to government coercion.Evidently, however, it was necessary for their satisfaction as asserters of their rights as a same-sex couple.Phillips’ obedience to his religious convictions neither expressed animus toward them nor injured them nor seriously inconvenienced them.Their side’s sweeping victory in the struggle over gay rights has been decisive, and now less bullying and more magnanimity from the victors would be seemly.George Will is a nationally syndicated columnist who writes for The Washington Post.More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation
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EU weighs response While Berlin shares Amman’s opposition to annexation, the EU has not yet announced any retaliatory measures. Europe holds significant financial clout in Israel as the country’s top business partner, with trade totaling 30 billion euros ($34 billion) last year, according to EU figures.Sanctions would need the approval of all 27 member states.Some European countries could formally recognize a Palestinian state but, according to an Israeli official, Germany would not be one of them.”Germany even with annexation would not recognize a Palestinian state and is not going to support sanctions against Israel,” he told AFP.The French foreign ministry on Wednesday reiterated its support for a two-state solution as “the only way to reach just and lasting peace, and regional stability”.While in Jerusalem, Maas also discussed Israeli foe Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.Berlin was one European party to a landmark 2015 accord to curb Iran’s nuclear activities from which Trump has since withdrawn. Maas also condemned Iran’s “incitement or glorification” of militancy in the region and its calls for the destruction of Israel, stressing that “Israel’s right to exist is not negotiable”. Germany and its European partners have “serious concerns” over Israel’s plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in Jerusalem Wednesday.The first high-level European visitor to Israel since the coronavirus pandemic hit, Maas brought a message of disquiet to Israel which he later reiterated in neighboring Jordan.Speaking in Jerusalem, Maas expressed “our honest and serious concerns… about the possible consequences of such a step”. Ashkenazi called Trump’s initiative “an important milestone” and a “significant opportunity”.”The plan will be pursued responsibly, in full coordination with the United States” while maintaining Israel’s existing and future “peace agreements … and strategic interests”, he said. Topics : Israel has signaled it intends to annex West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley, as proposed by US President Donald Trump, with initial steps slated to begin from July 1, the same day Germany takes the rotating EU presidency.”Together with the European Union, we believe that annexation would not be compatible with international law,” Maas told a joint press conference alongside his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi, calling instead for the resumption of talks towards a two-state solution.The bloc has yet to agree on how to react if Israel presses ahead with annexation or whether to impose sanctions on Israel.”I don’t think much of the politics of issuing threats at a stage when no decision has been taken yet” by Israel, Maas said. ‘International pressure’ Following talks with Ashkenazi, Germany’s top diplomat met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who forged a new unity government last month.Israeli annexation forms part of the US peace plan Trump unveiled in January, which paves the way for the eventual creation of a Palestinian state.A statement from Netanyahu’s office cited him telling his German guest that “any realistic plan would have to recognise the reality of Israeli settlements, and not feed the illusion of uprooting people from their homes.”Trump’s proposals exclude core Palestinian demands such as a capital in east Jerusalem and have been rejected by the Palestinian Authority.Palestinians have sent a counter-proposal envisaging a “sovereign Palestinian state, independent and demilitarized” to the Quartet, made up of the UN, US, EU and Russia, Palestinian prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said Tuesday.”We want Israel to feel international pressure,” Shtayyeh said.Maas then travelled on to Amman, where he held a video conference with Shtayyeh and met his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi.Last month, Jordan’s King Abdullah II told German magazine Der Spiegel that Israeli annexation risked sparking a “conflict” with his country.Maas said that “as a direct neighbor, Jordan is more directly affected than any other country by any developments” in the coming weeks pertaining to Israel and the Palestinian territories.He warned that “unilateral steps by either side will not bring us any closer” to a negotiated two-state solution, would impact regional stability and bear “great, great potential for escalation”.Safadi warned it was “imperative …to stop annexation because ultimately it is a path to institutionalize apartheid of Palestine and that is not a recipe for peace”.Speaking in Arabic, he added that annexation would “not be without a response from Jordan”.
Norway’s domestically focused sovereign wealth fund posted a 4.3% investment return in the first six months of this year, boosted by rising oil prices.The Government Pension Fund Norway (GPFN) – the sister fund to the country’s giant Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) – added NOK10.4bn (€1.1bn) in the first half, meaning the fund’s total capital increased to NOK250.5bn at the end of June.Folketrygdfondet, which manages the GPFN, reported that the fund returned 5.5% in the second quarter, beating its benchmark by 0.6 percentage points.The 4.3% return for the whole of the January-to-June period was 0.8 percentage points above the benchmark, the Oslo-based manager said. Acting CEO Lars Tronsgaard said: “First and foremost, it is the positive development on the equity market, driven by a high oil price, which contributed to the good result.”Equities produced an 8.7% return in the second quarter for the GPFN, leading to a 7.2% return for the first half, while the bond portfolio generated 0.6% in the second quarter leaving it with a flat result for fixed income for the first half overall.The first half returns for equities and bonds were 1% and 0.5% above their respective benchmark returns, Folketrygdfondet said.The Oslo Stock Exchange’s All-Share index rose by 10.6% in the first six months of the year in local currency terms, with most of that gain coming in the second quarter. The Brent crude oil price rose by more than 19% in dollar terms in the same period.As one of the world’s highest per-capita oil producing countries, Norway has a high proportion of oil and oil-related equities and bonds listed on its stockmarket.In the other three countries where the fund can invest, however, Folketrygdfondet said equities rose just 0.9% in the three-month period in Norwegian krone terms.The GPFN has a mandate to invest 85% of its portfolio in Norwegian assets and 15% in Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Asset allocation is split into 60% in equities and 40% in bonds.
The Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) in the UK has joined an Australian trio of investors in raising concerns over mining group Rio Tinto’s testimony at the Australian Parliamentary hearings that took place last week regarding the destruction of Aboriginal caves at Juukan Gorge.Testimony revealed that senior executives, including Jean-Sébastien Jacques, Rio Tinto’s chief executive officer, had not read a critical archaeological report about the site, raising significant questions about both the governance and human rights due diligence procedures implemented at the mining group, which have implications for the creation of investment value.The LAPFF has supported the concerns raised by Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR), AustralianSuper and Hesta regarding the apparent lack of senior level accountability for the destruction of the caves.To date, the forum has written to Rio Tinto requesting a meeting on this issue, has held a seminar with Aboriginal community leaders who expressed their concerns, and has issued a press release in support of appropriate accountability measures, it said. Doug McMurdo, LAPPF’s chair, said: “The Parliamentary Inquiry evidence further amplifies why LAPFF has increased its call for companies to engage meaningfully with affected communities. The fact that Rio Tinto’s senior management had not reviewed a critical report about the site itself calls into question the company’s governance and oversight processes.”He added that if there had been an effective community engagement process in place, it would be hard to see “how this tragedy could have occurred.”The forum represents some 81 British public sector pension funds totalling £300bn (€332bn) in assets, of which at least 42 LAPFF members hold around 2% of Rio Tinto shares.Marcia Langton, of the University of Melbourne, said: “As an Aboriginal person, a native title practitioner and adviser, it is impossible to have confidence in Jacques’ statements about changing the company culture and respecting the Aboriginal traditional owners and their cultures.”LAPFF said there will be a second inquiry into the incident and that a board level review of the incident is yet to be completed.The forum will consider the resulting evidence as it continues to engage with the mining group and in determining vote recommendations at next year’s annual general meeting.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.
By J.M. HallasPLEASANTON, Texas (May 5) – Talon Minten made it two in a row scoring his second IMCA Modified win of the season Saturday at I-37 Speedway, but it wasn’t easy.Minten took over the lead from Derek Scott Jr. on lap six but was reeled in by Chris Morris. Morris, who drives with hand controls, kept the pressure on Minten the final five laps.At the checkers, Minten was able to keep Morris a couple car lengths away for the win.“Finding the high line was key tonight,” explained Minten. “Staying consistent, hitting my marks. I saw Chris (Morris) stick the nose inside. I knew if I just held my line and hit my marks I’d be all right. I’ve raced with Chris almost every race this year. He’s always run me clean. I’m pretty comfortable racing with him.’
Pauline Rohrig, 81, of Versailles passed away at 9:15am, Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at Ripley Crossing in Milan. She was born at Hindman in Knott County, Kentucky on June 15, 1938 the daughter of Gordon and Melda Johnson Reynolds. She was married to Jim Rohrig on June 8, 1957 and he preceded her in death on April 14, 2009. Survivors include four daughters Vickie (Jack) McMillan and Kim (Kim) Hoffman both of Milan, and Tammy (Mark) Hartman and Robin (Bud) Davis both of Versailles; 8 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandson; one brother Ray (Wanda) Reynolds of Noblesville; three sisters Ruth Hankins, Margaret Lochard, and Catherine (Maurice) Minger all of Milan. She was also preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Robert, Marion, Haskell, and Gordon Reynolds, and her sister Sue Reynolds. Mrs. Rohrig was a former employee of US Shoe in Osgood and she and Jim ran the concession stand and camp store at the Versailles State Park for several years. Pauline was best known in the South Ripley Schools where she had driven a bus for the corporation for 32 years. She enjoyed spending time with her large family and especially attending her grandchildren’s ball games. She also enjoyed traveling and was a big fan of bluegrass music. Pauline was a member of the Hope Baptist Church. Funeral services will be held on Friday, January 31st at 11am at the Hope Baptist Church with Bro. Tom Holt officiating. Visitation will be on Thursday from 4pm to 7pm at the Stratton-Karsteter Funeral Home in Versailles and from 10am until time of services Friday at the church. Memorials may be given to the Alzheimer’s Foundation or the Hope Baptist Church in care of the funeral home.
The East Central AquaTrojans had a wonderful Weekend at The Boys Swimming Sectional Finale at Columbus North.201920ColumbusNorthFinals (1)The AquaTrojans placed fourth overall with four championships including the 200 Medley Relay team of Nick Weber, Jackson Ketham, Matt Baddinghaus, and Owen Matthew. Ketcham also placed first in the 200 Free and the 500 Free. All will be going to The Boys Swimming State Finals at The IUPUI Natatorium on Friday and Saturday, February 28th and 29th. EC’s John Crawley was the Sectional Diving Champion and will participate at The Bloomington South Regionals on Tuesday, February 25th.201920ColumbusNorthScores (1)Bloomington North won the team Sectional Championship. In addition to The AquaTrojans finishing fourth, other area results include Milan 6th, Batesville 7th, South Dearborn 9th, Lawrenceburg 10th, Oldenburg 11th, and Grensburg 12th.Photo courtesy of EC Trojan Athletics.
Goonyella led home an Irish one-two in a gruelling race for the Betfred Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter. Press Association The eight-year-old, trained by Jim Dreaper, whose late father Tom was responsible for legendary chaser Arkle, kept on dourly in the straight to beat his compatriot Raz De Maree. It was a notable triumph for 3lb claimer Johnny Burke, retained rider for winning owners Ann and Alan Potts. “We came for a reason. We thought of the likes of the Kim Muir and the Irish National, but three and a half (miles) is not far enough. This was the survival of the fittest and he’s got plenty of ability. “The rider’s 3lb claim put him in 3lb better off than he would be at home and it worked out great. “He’s got no chance of getting in the Grand National. What we’ll do now, I don’t know. Good ground at Fairyhouse (in the Irish Grand National) is just too sharp for him. “If every horse could win one of these in their career you’d be happy enough.” There was drama early on when Global Power fell at the first, while groans followed as the well-backed Catching On, ridden by Tony McCoy, fell at the eighth fence causing Summery Justice to part company with Liam Treadwell. McCoy was quickly on his feet as he walked gingerly away. Samingarry, Cadeau George and Rigadin De Beauchene cut out the running until the fourth-last fence when the testing conditions took their toll. Goonyella and Hawkes Point went on and it was the former, sent off at 6-1, who proved the strongest in the field as he won by nine lengths from the Sandra Hughes-trained Raz De Maree (20-1). Woodford County (11-1) stuck on for third, with Hawkes Point (9-1) fourth and Foxbridge (10-1) fifth. Burke said: “He deserves it more than any horse in training. He’s very consistent and he’s very tough. I was in front half a mile too soon, but he’s jumped his way there. He was idling in front, but got there. “I want to thank everyone at home for giving me the opportunity.” The trainer’s son Thomas said: “It was the right race for him – four miles on heavy ground around a big, fair track. We’re over the moon.
Press Association Provisional squad: Gomes, Nyom, Cathcart, Britos, Prodl, Anya, Capoue, Jurado, Watson, Behrami, Deeney, Ighalo, Arlauskis, Guedioura, Abdi, Paredes, Diamanti, Oulare, Holebas. Watford will have to make one change from the side which beat Liverpool last weekend when they head to Chelsea on Boxing Day. Full-back Nathan Ake is ineligible to play at Stamford Bridge as he is on loan from the Blues, so Ikechi Anya could return to the side. Defenders Tommie Hoban (groin) and Joel Ekstrand (knee) remain sidelined through injury.