Sunday, October 12, 2008

Matthew Shepard died ten years ago today

Matthew Shepard

Here's part of a report from The Associate Press:

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Matthew Shepard's mother still mourns lost opportunities to battle hate crimes and promote a greater tolerance of gays in the 10 years since her 21-year-old son was beaten, tied to a wooden fence and left for dead in a frigid Wyoming pasture.

Though Congress has not passed a federal hate crime law, Judy Shepard is buoyed by enhanced punishments for crimes based on sexual orientation in 31 states and the District of Columbia.

"Ten years have gone by and not that much has changed, and I think that's just really disappointing," said Shepard, who with her husband formed the Matthew Shepard Foundation to promote equality for the gay community.
Matthew's death after he was left in the cold bloodied with severe head injuries for 18 hours has produced an outpouring of films, books and plays, but it hasn't seemed to budge the rate of anti-gay violence.

FBI statistics show hate crimes motivated by anti-gay bias have remained at a stable level since Matthew's death.

I don't know how to say it better than this: "Hate is not a family value."

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