Fresh off announcing endorsements from radical anti-choice and anti-gay activists, Ted Cruz announced his Virginia Leadership Team last week, naming state Sen. Richard “Dick” Black as his state campaign co-chair.
Black is one of the most far-right lawmakers in the state, if not the country.
As a state delegate, Black appeared to deny the existence of marital rape: “I do not know how on earth you could validly get a conviction of a husband-wife rape, where they’re living together, sleeping in the same bed, she’s in a nightie and so forth, there’s no injury, there’s no separation or anything.”
Black, who wants to ban abortion in all cases and made waves by “passing out plastic fetuses before a crucial abortion vote,” once denounced abortion rights as reminiscent of Nazi Germany and likened abortion clinics to Nazi death camps like Auschwitz.
He is also an opponent of contraceptives, calling for a law that would outlaw the morning-after pill and referring to emergency contraception as “baby pesticide” and “a toxic method of eliminating a child.”
No fan of gay rights, Black responded to the Lawrence v. Texas decision overturning state anti-sodomy bans by declaring, “If I’m the last person on the face of this Earth to vote against legalizing sodomy, I’ll do it.”
He once tried to mandate that adoption agencies inquire whether prospective parents are “known to engage in current voluntary homosexual activity” and attacked a state initiative to make it easier for gay couples, who were not allowed to legally marry at the time, and other unmarried couples to apply for home mortgages by insisting that Virginia “is now spending $90 million to subsidize sodomy and adultery” and having tax dollars go towards “supporting a radical homosexual agenda.”
Black was also outraged about a high school play in which two men kissed, claiming that it could lead to kids contracting HIV:
Del. Richard H. Black (R-Loudoun) e-mailed his supporters claiming that, in the play, “two male students engaged in a homosexual kiss onstage” and that public schools were “being used to promote a homosexual lifestyle.”
“Within our public schools, there is a tendency to encourage homosexual activity, to portray it in a cute or favorable light,” Black said in an interview yesterday. “This is a considerable health hazard right now. If we encourage just one child to experiment and contract the HIV virus, then we have done an enormous disservice to our children.”
In 2010, Black penned a column arguing that the military should not lift its ban on openly gay service members as it could result in sexual violence and discomfort for straight soldiers who have “to sleep and shower under the watchful eyes of men.”
Black, veering into foreign policy, also praised Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, hailing “Assad’s forces for ‘heroic’ actions and ‘extraordinary gallantry’” in a letter that was later posted on Assad’s Facebook page. While Black may be a fan of Assad, he is not a fan of Abraham Lincoln.
As Mother Jones reported:
In 2003, Black led a fight to prevent a statue of Abraham Lincoln seated with his son Tad from gracing the grounds of the Tredegar Iron Works, a Civil War-era foundry that supplied the Confederate army with cannons. “Putting a statue to [Lincoln] there is sort of like putting the Confederate flag at the Lincoln Memorial,” Black told the Washington Post, adding that the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC ought to be enough. Black even asked the Virginia Attorney General, Republican Jerry Kilgore, to investigate whether any state laws prohibited the National Park Service, which leases Tredegar, from erecting the statue. (None did.)
But Black received prominent placement in Cruz’s announcement:
“Our team far exceeded the needed number of signatures to get on the ballot in Virginia, more than doubling the 5,000 signatures required,” said State Senator Dick Black. “Ted Cruz’s ground game distinguishes his campaign from all the others. It is a formidable accomplishment by our team and I could not be more proud to be part of the organization supporting Ted.”
“We have an exceptional team in the Commonwealth, and the success we’ve had getting more than 10,000 signatures on the ballot, as well as the more than three dozen additional team members, shows we are committed to competing in Virginia and fighting for every delegate,” said Cruz. “I look forward to working with each and every one of them as we continue to coalesce conservatives around our campaign.”
And he is now in good company.