Is Fondant Free Speech? Chefs Show Support For Gay Marriage As Court Case Looms


Is Fondant Free Speech? Chefs Show Support For Gay Marriage As Court Case Looms
  1. Is Fondant Free Speech? Chefs Show Support For Gay Marriage As Court Case Looms
    kuer.org
    Bedecked in fondant and flowers, modern wedding cakes are the centerpiece of the marriage feast – an edible form of art. But are they also an expression of free speech? That's the question the Supreme Court will consider this fall, when it hears the case of a Colorado baker who refused to make a custom wedding cake for a gay couple because he said it would violate his religious beliefs. "You'd think cake would be apolitical, and yet here we are," muses baker Catherine George of Catherine G…
    Utah (UT)

Bedecked in fondant and flowers, modern wedding cakes are the centerpiece of the marriage feast – an edible form of art. But are they also an expression of free speech?

That's the question the Supreme Court will consider this fall, when it hears the case of a Colorado baker who refused to make a custom wedding cake for a gay couple because he said it would violate his religious beliefs.

"You'd think cake would be apolitical, and yet here we are," muses baker Catherine George of Catherine George Cakes.

She was among the Washington, D.C.-area pastry chefs who crafted 18 elaborate, tiered wedding cakes to show their support for marriage equality. Their creations were on display Tuesday night at the sixth annual Chefs for Equality in D.C., a fundraiser hosted by the Human Rights Campaign. Some 140 chefs, pastry chefs and mixologists participated in this year's event. The theme: "Who Can Resist?"

George said her cake – three tiered and adorned with white fondant molding and columns meant to echo the neoclassical architecture of the Supreme Court building – was definitely intended as a political statement.

"I wanted to reference the Supreme Court case that's coming up," George says. "Which is funny, because the idea of cakes as art is part of that." She adds: "[I] strongly believe that gay people shouldn't be discriminated against when buying their wedding cake."

Public accommodation laws in Colorado and elsewhere are designed to prevent discrimination by businesses that interact with the public. Five years ago, same-sex couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig asked Colorado baker Jack Phillips to make them a custom wedding cake. Phillips refused, saying he didn't want to be compelled to use his artistic talents — his cake creativity — to celebrate an event that violated his deeply held religious beliefs. So Mullins and Craig filed civil rights charges against the baker.

The Justice Department, under President Trump, is backing the baker. In a brief filed with the court this month, it argues that the wedding cake case is at heart about the First Amendment and the right to free expression. Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall wrote:

"The government may not enact content-based laws commanding a speaker to engage in protected expression: An artist cannot be forced to paint, a musician cannot be forced to play, and a poet cannot be forced to write."

Some of the cakes on display Tuesday were overtly political. Tressa Wiles of Bayou Bakery crafted a blue and yellow cake – the colors of the Human Rights Campaign – with a fist jutting out …

  1. Trump's one-two punch hits birth control, LGBT rights

    Standard.net - Utah (UT)
    10.07 / 02:08 standard.net
    WASHINGTON (AP) — In a one-two punch elating religious conservatives, President Donald Trump’s administration is allowing more employers to opt out of no-cost birth control for workers and issuing sweeping religious-freedom directions that could override many anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people and oth…
  2. A pair of crises tests Trump's presidential empathy

    Standard.net - Utah (UT)
    10.07 / 01:59 standard.net
    WASHINGTON (AP) — As the death toll from the shooting in Las Vegas rapidly rose, White House officials urged President Donald Trump to show restraint in his response: No speculative tweets, please. No over-the-top b…
  3. AP FACT CHECK: Really? GOP thinks Dems soft on gun control?

    Standard.net - Utah (UT)
    10.06 / 20:37 standard.net
    WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s not every day — or every year or every decade — you see Republicans raising questions about whether Democrats were tough enough on gun control when they were in power…
  4. What are Utah’s favorite Halloween candies?

    Standard.net - Utah (UT)
    10.06 / 19:43 standard.net
    The country’s favorite October holiday is quickly approaching, which means Utah kids (and let’s be real, adults too) are getting excited about one of the season’s best traditions: Halloween candy…
  5. Movie Reviews: Blade Runner 2049, My Little Pony, The Mountain Between Us

    Cityweekly.net - Utah (UT)
    10.06 / 16:53 cityweekly.net
    An intriguing mix of options—from blockbuster sci-fi sequel to survival drama, from documentary biography to historical biopic—makes for a busy early-fall weekend at local movie theaters. Blade Runner 2049 tries fascinating new things, while also remaining a bit too beholden to its predecessor. Memory and identity also play a role in the sci-fi theatrical adaptation Marjorie Prime, which remains a bit too chilly in its philosophical…
  6. U.S. Jobs Dropped By 33,000 In September, Likely Due To Storms

    Kuer.org - Utah (UT)
    10.06 / 16:24 kuer.org
    The U.S. economy shed 33,000 jobs in September, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while unemployment fell to 4.2 percent. The September payrolls drop broke a nearly seven-year streak of continuous job gains, but economists caution that the drop is likely representing the short-term consequences of bad weather, not a long-term shift in the job market. Before this report, the economy had added an average of about 175,000 jobs per month; the unemployment rate…
  7. Firm Behind 'Fearless Girl' Statue Underpaid Female, Black Execs, U.S. Says

    Kuer.org - Utah (UT)
    10.06 / 16:24 kuer.org
    The State Street Corporation, a financial services company that put the Fearless Girl statue on Wall Street to promote the importance of women working in corporate leadership roles, will pay $5 million after an investigation found that it underpaid female and black executives. The company denies any wrongdoing but will pay as part of a settlement with the Department of Labor. Law360 reported on the payout earlier this week , and Bloomberg posted the text of the conciliation agreement…
  8. Puerto Rico's 'Singing Newspapers' Tell A Story Of Resilience

    Kuer.org - Utah (UT)
    10.06 / 16:24 kuer.org
    Since Hurricane Maria, people in Puerto Rico have been without easy access to electricity, clean drinking water, or food. Many are still staying in shelters; some are living in the ruins of their homes. The once-lush green trees were stripped bare and uprooted. But all is not lost. There are two quintessential Puerto Rican sounds that survived: One is the plaintive song of the tiny coqui frog. The other is the improvised Afro-Puerto Rican call-and-response musical tradition known as Plena.…
  9. Deadly Tropical Storm Nate Threatens U.S. Gulf Coast

    Kuer.org - Utah (UT)
    10.06 / 16:24 kuer.org
    Tropical Storm Nate was gathering force in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea on Friday as it made its way toward the U.S. Gulf Coast, which was bracing for a potential direct hit Sunday. The storm has already unleashed heavy rain and flooding over parts of Central America, where several people have died. In Nicaragua, the death toll reached at least 11 on Thursday, while thousands of people had to evacuate their homes and several others were reported missing, according to Vice President…
  10. Trump Guts Requirement That Employer Health Plans Pay For Birth Control

    Kuer.org - Utah (UT)
    10.06 / 16:24 kuer.org
    The Trump administration is rolling back the Obama-era requirement that employer-provided health insurance policies cover birth control methods at no cost to women. According to senior officials with the Department of Health and Human Services, the goal of the new rule is to allow any company or nonprofit group to exclude the coverage for contraception if it has a religious or moral objection. "This provides an exemption and it's a limited one," said Roger Severino , director of the HHS…
  11. President Johnson's Crime Commission Report, 50 Years Later

    Kuer.org - Utah (UT)
    10.06 / 13:01 kuer.org
    If you've ever called 911 to report an emergency, thank the Johnson Crime Commission. Establishing a national emergency number was just one of more than 200 recommendations the Commission offered up in a landmark 1967 report "for a safer and more just society." Two years earlier, President Lyndon Johnson had appointed lawyers, educators, law enforcement officers, social workers and others – 19 members in all — to the group officially called the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and …
  12. Gun Violence: How The U.S. Compares To Other Countries

    Kuer.org - Utah (UT)
    10.06 / 13:01 kuer.org
    Last weekend's massacre in Las Vegas is only the latest reminder of the persistent gun violence in the United States. And a new set of statistics on the rates of gun violence not related to conflict underscores just how outsize U.S. rates of gun deaths are compared to those in much of the rest of the world. Take countries with the top indicators of socioeconomic success — income per person and average education level, for instance. The United States ranks ninth in the world among them, b…
  13. Militia Defendant Wants Cliven Bundy Trial Postponed After Las Vegas Massacre

    Kuer.org - Utah (UT)
    10.06 / 13:01 kuer.org
    A federal judge in Las Vegas on Friday will consider a motion to delay the start of next week's high profile trial of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his militia associates. In two motions filed by one of the defendants in the 2014 Bunkerville armed standoff this week, the court-appointed attorneys for militia sympathizer Ryan Payne argue that the trial should be delayed in light of Sunday's shooting rampage in Las Vegas at a country music concert that left 59 dead and almost 500 injured.…
  14. Top Stories: Nobel Peace Prize; Las Vegas Shooter's Motive Still Unknown

    Kuer.org - Utah (UT)
    10.06 / 13:01 kuer.org
    Good morning, here are our early stories: -- International Campaign To Abolish Nuclear Weapons Wins 2017 Peace Prize. -- Las Vegas Shooter's Life Comes Into Focus, But Not His Motive. -- Speaking Freely, Retiring Sen. Corker Warns GOP He Could Oppose Tax Plan. And here are more early headlines: Trump's Cryptic Reference To "Calm Before The Storm". ( NBC ) Nate Predicted To Hit U.S. Gulf Coast As A Hurricane. ( NHC ) U.K. Leader Says She Has Support After Speech With Mishaps. ( BBC )…
  15. Mormons gather at funeral in Utah for high-ranking leader

    Standard.net - Utah (UT)
    10.06 / 12:08 standard.net
    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Mormons will gather Friday at a funeral in Salt Lake City at the religion’s historic Tabernacle to honor the life of high-ranking church leader Robert D. Hales, who died at the age of 85…
  16. Paid hotel stays for police after shootings an uncommon practice

    Standard.net - Utah (UT)
    10.06 / 12:08 standard.net
    FARMINGTON — Paid hotel stays for Davis County sheriff’s deputies after deadly force incidents have been criticized by auditors, but Sheriff Todd Richardson stands by the pra…
  17. Feds reject boreal toad endangered listing; Utah to keep up conservation efforts

    Standard.net - Utah (UT)
    10.06 / 12:08 standard.net
    Boreal toads will need to continue hopping along without help from the federal…
  18. Latina Utah lawmaker foresees U.S. legislation for dreamers after DACA axed

    Standard.net - Utah (UT)
    10.06 / 12:08 standard.net
    OGDEN — A Latina state lawmaker is optimistic U.S. lawmakers will come up with legislation protecting dreamers, younger immigrants brought illegally to the country by their p…
  19. Grantsville City OKs 180-day moratorium on new subdivisions

    Tooeleonline.com - Utah (UT)
    10.06 / 11:24 tooeleonline.com
    The Grantsville City Council approved a 180-day moratorium on approval of new subdivisions, multiple unit residential facilities and planned unit developments during its meeting Wednesday night. The city council previously set aside a possible moratorium during an Aug. 29 work meeting over concerns about lawsuits from developers. The moratorium reviewed at Wednesday’s meeting would not […
  20. $4.1M needed to cover new county budget requests

    Tooeleonline.com - Utah (UT)
    10.06 / 11:24 tooeleonline.com
    Four non-county employees showed up Tuesday night for a Tooele County Commission meeting with an agenda that included a discussion of a potential property tax increase. “As we begin looking at our budget for 2018, departments have submitted budgets with things that they deem as necessary that would require an 82-percent property tax increase,” said [&#…