February 13, 2005
By Margaret Edds
AS MOST OF America knows, Vice President Dick Cheney has a lesbian daughter. And he doesn’t support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
Discrimination sits a little sourly on the stomach when it’s your own flesh and blood. Del. Dick Black illustrates how personal experience breeds contempt for injustice, as well.
Black, a Loudoun County Republican and one of the most socially and fiscally conservative members of the House, emerged as a surprise champion of indigent defendants this year.
A former judge advocate in the military, Black knows firsthand that prosecutors and defense attorneys need roughly equal resources. Save for his military experience, he might never have noticed the startling mismatch in legal services for Virginia’s poor.
Too bad Black’s personal empathy quotient doesn’t overlap with Cheney’s.
If it did, Black might have been a little less willing to damn lesbian and gay parents with outlandish claims about child abuse on the floor of the House of Delegates last week.