taking a stand
August 20, 2019

The Log Cabin Republicans, a national organization for LGBTQ members of the GOP, lost a board member over the group's decision to endorse President Trump.

"There is no world where I can sit down at the dining room table and explain to my children that I just endorsed Donald Trump for president," Jennifer Horn told The Washington Post. "It is contrary to everything that I have ever taught them about what it means to be a good, decent, principled member of society."

Horn sent her resignation letter on Monday, after the Log Cabin Republicans' chair and vice-chair announced in a Post op-ed that the group was endorsing Trump because he's taking "bold actions that benefit the LGBTQ community," including enacting tax cuts and pledging to "end the spread of HIV/AIDS in 10 years." In her letter, Horn said, among other things, she opposed Trump's "regular verbal assaults against women, immigrants, elected members of Congress, [and] party members who do not agree with him on policy or principle."

Prior to joining the Log Cabin Republicans' board, Horn was chairwoman of the New Hampshire Republican Party, and she told the Post she was disappointed in 2016 when Trump did not remove language from the party's platform that advocated against equal rights for LGBTQ people. Horn remains hopeful that more Republicans will start speaking out against Trump. "People have to know, our party is dying because of the silence of those who oppose this president," she said. Catherine Garcia

June 19, 2018

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced Tuesday that he would refuse to deploy any National Guard members to aid in border control efforts until President Trump's administration ends its practice of separating immigrant children from their parents.

"I ordered our four crewmembers and helicopter to immediately return from where they were stationed in New Mexico," said Hogan on Twitter. The federal government called for an increased National Guard presence in April to assist in Customs and Border Protection efforts, requesting around 4,000 troops to be sent to border states.

Hogan joined Massachusets Gov. Charlie Baker (R), who also said Monday that his state would no longer send troops to aid the federal effort. Protesting "the inhumane treatment of children," Baker rescinded his offer of equipment and personnel.

Democratic governors have also vowed not to help the Trump administration, reports The Washington Post. Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) said that she hadn't received a request for troops, but she promised that she would certainly refuse any future request. "Children should be with their families, not trapped in cages, sobbing and calling out for their parents," said Raimondo. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said the same. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) banned the state from sending any troops, equipment, or money that would help enforce the policy of separating immigrant families, and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) denounced the administration while pledging not to use military efforts to condone the "inhumane practice." Summer Meza

August 27, 2017

At the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday, a descendent of Robert E. Lee and Heather Heyer's mother appeared onstage together, denouncing racism and white supremacy.

Heyer was killed earlier this month while demonstrating against a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which was partly organized to protest the removal of a statue of Lee. Susan Bro announced she was launching a foundation in her daughter's name that will "provide scholarships to help more people join Heather's fight against hatred," adding that Heyer "never marched alone. She was always joined by people from every race and every background in this country."

Bro was introduced by Rev. Robert Lee IV, who said it was his "moral duty to speak out against racism, America's original sin. Today, I call on all of us with privilege and power to answer God's call to confront racism and white supremacy head-on." Lee added that inspiration can be found in "the Black Lives Matter movement, the women who marched in the Women's March in January, and, especially, Heather Heyer, who died fighting for her beliefs." Catherine Garcia

June 22, 2017

After being told they weren't allowed to wear shorts to school, about 30 teenage boys attending ISCA Academy in Exeter, England, showed up wearing skirts instead.

As part of their dress code, boys have to wear pants and girls can wear either pants or skirts, but when temperatures shot up, the boys asked school officials if they could wear shorts. They were told no, and a teacher sarcastically suggested they wear skirts. That's exactly what the boys did, borrowing regulation skirts from their classmates.

The school's head teacher told the BBC she "recognizes that the last few days have been exceptionally hot," but she didn't want to change the rules without "consulting both students and their families." One parent said she did approach the school to ask about her son wearing shorts, and she was "shot down." The protesting teens are supported by their fellow students, and most of the parents are proud of them for taking a stand. "Good on 'em," one mother told the BBC. Catherine Garcia

June 5, 2017

The chargé d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing is ending his 27-year career at the State Department due to President Trump pulling the United States out of the Paris Agreement to combat climate change, a senior U.S. official told Reuters Monday.

The official said the acting ambassador, David Rank, could not support the decision and didn't think he was able to give China a diplomatic note letting the Chinese government know of the move. A spokeswoman for the State Department confirmed that Rank is leaving his post, but did not comment on why he is deciding to depart now. A U.S. official told Reuters that Rank announced on Monday he planned to retire, but the State Department told him to leave immediately.

Rank is a career foreign service officer who became deputy chief of mission in Beijing in January 2016. In May, the Senate confirmed Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) as the new ambassador to China, though Branstad has yet to assume the position. Catherine Garcia

March 14, 2016

Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields and editor-at-large Ben Shapiro resigned Sunday over the conservative media company's response to a recent incident at a Donald Trump campaign rally in which Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski allegedly yanked Fields to the ground as she tried to ask a question. "I do not believe Breitbart News has adequately stood by me during the events of the past week and because of that I believe it is now best for us to part ways," Fields said.

Shapiro cited the company chairman Steve Bannon's apparent decision to side with Lewandowski, saying Breitbart is becoming "Trump's personal Pravda."

In my opinion, Steve Bannon is a bully, and has sold out Andrew's mission in order to back another bully, Donald Trump; he has shaped the company into Trump's personal Pravda, to the extent that he abandoned and undercut his own reporter, Breitbart News' Michelle Fields, in order to protect Trump's bully campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who allegedly assaulted Michelle. [Ben Shapiro]

Breitbart published a video on Friday shot just moments before the incident allegedly occurred, suggesting it was unclear whether Lewandowski was actually the one who pushed Fields. Trump's campaign has dismissed Fields' accusations as "totally false" despite an eyewitness account and bruises on Fields' arm. Becca Stanek

July 22, 2015

Microsoft is launching a new website dedicated to allowing victims of "revenge porn" to report abuse.

Users will make takedown requests of sexually explicit images and videos shared online without their consent, and Microsoft will then make sure they won't pop up on Bing search results, the company announced Wednesday. If the image or video is hosted on one of Microsoft’s storage platforms, like Xbox Live, it will be deleted. In a blog post, Microsoft said, "By helping to address requests and to remove these extremely personal photos and videos from our services, we can better support victims as they work to re-claim their privacy, and help to push just a little further in the fight against this despicable practice."

The idea of delisting sites from search engines is similar to a principle referred to as "the right to be forgotten," The Washington Post reports. In Europe, people can ask companies like Google to remove things they don't want listed from search results. A photo could remain online and found via a different search engine, but it would be hidden from Google users. Legal analysts don't believe this would fly in the U.S. due to censorship and First Amendment concerns, but there could be a more restrained version. As Brian Fung writes, "we're seeing now with Google and Microsoft, some companies are concluding that it's much better to protect the privacy of their users than to adopt a maximalist view of free speech." Catherine Garcia

June 30, 2015

The Girl Scouts of Western Washington returned a $100,000 gift after the donor asked that the money "not be used to support transgender girls," the organization said.

The group was "thrilled" when they first received the donation, which would have provided financial support for 500 scouts. Once the donor sent a follow-up note with the request, the money was returned, and a new fundraising campaign was launched on Indiegogo, using the hashtag #ForEVERYgirl. "Girl Scouts empowers every girl regardless of her gender identity, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, [and] sexual orientation," the group said in a campaign video. "Every girl deserves access to a safe, friendly environment where she can stand up for what she believes in and be proud of who she is."

The message worked; in less than 24 hours, the Girl Scouts of Western Washington raised enough to replace the $100,000, and then some. Catherine Garcia

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