09/24/1998 AT 12:00 AM EDT
"The West Wing" star Stockard Channing is, appropriately enough, in Washington for Saturday's White House Correspondents' Association Dinner -- though she plans to make a short stop first for a good cause. Channing, 56, who plays First Lady Abigail Bartlet on the NBC series, will appear at the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays dinner in D.C. and introduce the keynote speakers, Judy and Dennis Shepard. Their son, Matthew, was murdered two years ago in Wyoming, the victim of a hate crime. "We like to think that discrimination, whether it's sexual, racial or whatever, is all in the past," the actress told The Washington Post. "Unfortunately, discrimination is still here."