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Matthew Shepard, slagoffer van haatmisdaad teen gay, sterf

Matthew Shepard, slagoffer van haatmisdaad teen gay, sterf


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Student van die Universiteit van Wyoming, Matthew Shepard, sterf na 'n wrede aanval deur twee anti-gay-grotes. Nadat hy Shepard ontmoet het in 'n gay -kroeg in Laramie, Wyoming, The Fireside Lounge, het Russell Henderson en Aaron McKinney hom na die parkeerterrein gelok, waar hy wreed aangeval en beroof is.

Die twee aanvallers neem toe Shepard, 21 jaar oud en weeg net meer as 100 pond, na 'n afgeleë plek buite die stad en bind sy naakte liggaam aan 'n houtheining, martel hom en laat hom in die ysige koue. Twee bergfietsryers, wat aanvanklik gedink het sy verminkte lyk is 'n voëlverskrikker, het hom ontdek. Shepard is kort daarna oorlede. Henderson en McKinney het later dieselfde aand twee Latino-jeugdiges aangeval en hulle geslaan en met 'n pistool geslaan. Die dood van Matthew Shepard het nasionale verontwaardiging veroorsaak en hernieude oproepe om wette oor haatmisdaad uit te brei tot geweld wat op 'n persoon se seksuele oriëntasie betrekking het. President Clinton het die Kongres versoek om die Wet op die Voorkoming van Haatmisdaad te aanvaar in die nasleep van die voorval.

Om 'n doodsvonnis te vermy, het Russell Henderson in April 1999 skuld erken op ontvoering en moord en is lewenslange gevangenisstraf opgelê. Later dieselfde jaar het Aaron McKinney tydens sy eie verhoor probeer om 'n "gay paniek" -verdediging te gebruik en beweer dat Sheppard se vooruitgang hom walg. Toe McKinney bewys wou lewer dat 'n man hom as kind gemolesteer het, sou regter Barton Voigt dit nie toelaat nie. Hy het beslis dat die verdediging te veel ooreenstem met tydelike waansin, wat in Wyoming nie 'n opsie is nie.

McKinney is skuldig bevind aan die moord op Shepard, maar het daarin geslaag om die doodstraf vry te spring, hoofsaaklik as gevolg van Shepard se ouers. In die gespanne en stil hofsaal het Dennis Shepard aan die moordenaar van sy seun gesê: 'Ek sou niks beter wou hê as om te sien dat u sterf nie, meneer McKinney. Dit is egter die tyd om die genesingsproses te begin. Om barmhartigheid te bewys aan iemand wat geweier het om barmhartigheid te bewys. ” McKinney is lewenslange tronkstraf opgelê. Henderson en McKinney se vriendinne, wat Henderson en McKinney gehelp het om van bewyse ontslae te raak, word as bykomstighede vir die moord aangekla.


Matthew Shepard Die waarheid agter Amerika se bekendste moord op gay-haat

Die aaklige moord op Matthew Shepard in 1998 word algemeen beskou as een van die ergste haatmisdade teen homoseksuele aktiwiteite in die Amerikaanse geskiedenis. Matthew is deur twee aanvallers, Aaron McKinney en Russell Henderson, geslaan. Hulle pistool het hom met 'n geweer geslaan en hom dan in ysige omstandighede aan 'n heining vasgemaak en hom aan die brand gesteek voordat hy gesterf het.

Die aanval het 'n oorsaak geword: dit het 'n nasionale reaksie op hiper-macho-kultuur en stilswyende verdraagsaamheid van homofobie veroorsaak. As gevolg van Matthew se dood het daar baie goeie dinge vir die gay -gemeenskap gebeur. Die opvoering Die Laramie -projek het deur die VSA en in baie ander lande getoer, die verhaal van Matthew vertel en veldtogte teen grootpratery aangemoedig. Politici en bekendes het steun en befondsing belowe om haatmisdaad teen gay te bestry. Die Shepard -familie het kampvegters vir gay -regte geword. Judy en Dennis Shepard bestuur die Matthew Shepard Foundation, wat opvoedkundige programme en 'n aanlyn gemeenskap vir tieners finansier om seksuele oriëntasie en geslagskwessies te bespreek. Daar was talle dokumentêre programme, dramas, boeke en gebeure gebaseer op die verhaal.

Die mans wat vir sy dood verantwoordelik was, is skuldig bevind aan eersteklas moord en twee lewenslange vonnisse opgelê. Hulle is nie van 'n haatmisdaad aangekla nie, aangesien dit onder Wyoming se strafwet nie moontlik was nie. Maar na 'n lang stryery in die kongres, onderteken president Obama uiteindelik die Matthew Shepard -wet in 2009, 'n wet wat sekere aanvalle wat deur die slagoffer se identiteit gemotiveer is, omskryf as haatmisdade.

Maar die verhaal van Matthew Shepard is nog nie klaar nie. Verlede jaar het 'n nuwe wending gekom met die publikasie van 'n ander boek, hierdie deur die ondersoekende joernalis Stephen Jimenez, wat 13 jaar lank onderhoude gevoer het met meer as 100 mense met 'n verband met die saak. Sy gevolgtrekking, uiteengesit in The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths about the Murder of Matthew Shepard, is dat die groteske moord nie 'n haatmisdaad was nie, maar eerder die skuld op crystal meth, 'n dwelm wat Denver en die omliggende gebied ten tyde van Matthew se dood oorstroom het. Hierdie nuwe teorie het begryplik baie woede veroorsaak.

Jimenez het sedert die publikasie van sy boek 'n stortvloed kritiek ondervind en het voorlesings gehad om die boikot van die boek te bevorder. Jimenez beweer egter dat baie van sy kritici dit nie eintlik gelees het nie. Die advokaat, Amerika se voorste LGBT -tydskrif, het verlede jaar 'n stuk gepubliseer met die titel: "Why I'm Not Reading the 'Trutherism' About Matt Shepard". Jimenez word daarvan beskuldig dat hy 'n revisionis is, 'n kritiek wat gewoonlik voorbehou is vir ekstreme regse ideoloë wat die Holocaust ontken en 'n homofob noem.

"Mense maak beswaar teen die idee van die boek, eerder as wat in die boek is," sê Jimenez. 'Die woede wat op my gerig is, was redelik erg.' Jimenez was nie van plan om sulke kontroversie te veroorsaak nie. Hy is 'n bekroonde skrywer en TV-vervaardiger en het Laramie kort na die moord besoek om materiaal vir 'n draaiboek oor die saak te versamel. Toe hy begin, was hy oortuig dat Matthew aan homofobes gesterf het, maar hy het gou agtergekom dat Matthew se tragedie begin het lank voor die aand toe hy vermoor is.

Jimenez het bevind dat Matthew verslaaf was aan en met kristalmeet werk en dat hy heroïen ingedrink het. Hy het ook aansienlike seksuele risiko's geneem en word saam met Aaron McKinney, een van sy moordenaars, met wie hy af en toe seksuele ontmoetings gehad het. Hy was ten tyde van sy dood MIV -positief.

"Dit maak nie die perfekte plakkaat vir die beweging van gay-regte nie," sê Jimenez. 'Dit is 'n groot deel van die rede waarom my boek so weggegooi is.'

Matthew se dwelmmisbruik en die feit dat hy een van sy moordenaars geken het voor die aanval, is nooit in die hof ondersoek nie. Die gerug was ook nie dat die moordenaars geweet het dat hy toegang het tot 'n vrag kristalmeet met 'n straatwaarde van $ 10 000 wat hulle wou steel nie.

Matthew is gebore in 'n gegoede gesin en het die staatskool in Casper, Wyoming, bygewoon. Die 21-jarige hoof van die politieke wetenskap aan die Laramie-universiteit het slegs 5 m 2 duim gestaan, en sy blonde hare, draadjies en effense omhulsel het hom 'n gevoel van kwesbaarheid en onskuld gegee. In sy hoërskool het Matthew saam met sy gesin na Saoedi -Arabië verhuis. Daar was destyds geen Amerikaanse hoërskole in Saoedi nie, daarom is hy na die American School in Switserland gestuur. Teen die tyd dat hy by Laramie ingeskryf het, het hy drie tale gepraat en wou hy 'n voorstander wees van menseregte. Iewers langs die lyn val Matthew egter van 'n graad-A-student tot 'n dwelmverslaafde prostituut wat met gevaar opgetel het. Hy het periodes van depressie opgedoen, moontlik as gevolg van 'n paar jaar tevore tydens 'n vakansie in Marokko. Maar dit is nie die Matthew Shepard wat 'n gevierde figuur geword het vir die gay-regte-beweging in Amerika nie.

Laramie word beskou as die mees liberale stad in Wyoming. Dit sit in 'n plat, boomlose sweep van hoë vlaktes. Met 'n afname in die boerderybedryf, word werk hier oorheers deur die Universiteit van Wyoming. Dit het 'n eienaardige westerse sjarme: met boomryke strate, pragtige parke en 'n opgeknapte historiese sentrum aan die rand van die treinspoor met klein winkels en restaurante. Dit word omring deur golwende prairie, boerderye, die Snowy Mountain-reeks en groot, wyd oop ruimtes. Maar die stad het ook 'n aantal parkeerterreine aan die rand, sommige meer afgesaag as ander.

Die aand van 6 Oktober 1998 is Matthew na die Fireside-kroeg, 'n plaaslike kuierplek wat na bewering gay-vriendelik was. Dit was karaoke -aand, en die plaaslike bevolking het skouers gevryf met werkers wat 'n vinnige drankie ingeroep het op pad huis toe. Kort daarna arriveer Russell Henderson en Aaron McKinney. Die drie mans gesels kort voordat hulle die kroeg verlaat en in 'n vragmotor klim wat aan McKinney se pa behoort.

In die vragmotor is Matthew van sy sleutels, beursie en skoene beroof en herhaaldelik deur een of albei mans geslaan. Hy is daarna uit die vragmotor gehaal, 'n pistool tot 18 keer op die kop geslaan en tussen die bene geskop. Matthew is aan 'n heining vasgemaak, aan die brand gesteek en bewusteloos gelaat.

Vyftien uur na die aanval was die student Aaron Kreifels besig om op sy fiets te ry toe hy Matthew ontdek wat aan die heining vasgemaak was, skaars lewendig. Hy het hom aanvanklik as 'n voëlverskrikker beskou. Matthew se gesig was vol bloed, afgesien van traanbane aan elke kant van sy wange.

Die eerste beampte op die toneel was Reggie Fluty. 'Die enigste ding wat ek kon sien, was gedeeltelik iemand se voete, en ek het uit my voertuig geklim en gery,' het Fluty gesê, haar kort blonde hare, kuif en 'n draadomlynde bril wat haar meer maatskaplike werker as polisieman laat lyk het. 'Ek het gesien wat vir 'n jong man van 13, 14 jaar lyk, omdat hy so klein was, op sy rug gelê het en aan die onderkant van 'n paal vasgemaak was. Ek het my bes gedoen… ”

Nadat hulle Matthew vasgebind aan die heining gelaat het, het McKinney en Henderson na Matthew se huis gegaan, maar onderweg het twee jong Spaanse mans, Emiliano Morales en Jeremy Herrera, bande gesny vir die plesier. Die mans het baklei, wat daartoe gelei het dat McKinney Morales se kop oopgebars het met dieselfde geweer wat hy op Matthew gebruik het. Polisiebeampte Flint Waters het opgedaag, Henderson gegryp (hy en McKinney het in verskillende rigtings gehardloop) en die vragmotor, die geweer, Matthew se skoene en kredietkaart gevind.

Ek het met Waters gepraat, wat sedertdien by die polisie afgetree het, nadat hy hom lof gesien het Die boek Matt op sosiale media. 'Ek glo tot vandag toe dat McKinney en Henderson probeer het om Matthew se huis te vind sodat hulle sy dwelms kon steel. Dit was redelik bekend in die Laramie -gemeenskap dat McKinney nie 'n gevoel sou wees van homofobie nie. Sommige van die beamptes saam met wie ek gewerk het, het hom in 'n seksuele daad met 'n ander man gevang, so dit pas nie - niks daarvan het sin nie. "

Maar toe Matthew se vriende Walt Boulden en Alex Trout van die aanval hoor, het hulle na die hospitaal gehaas. Hulle het dieselfde dag die Associated Press en 'n aantal plaaslike gay organisasies gekontak. Boulden, 'n 46-jarige kollege-instrukteur wat sê dat hy die laaste persoon was wat met Matthew gepraat het voordat hy McKinney en Henderson ontmoet het, het die aanval gekoppel aan die versuim van Wyoming om 'n wetsontwerp op haatmisdrywe te slaag. Boulden het later gesê die aanranding word deur 'n polisieman as 'n haatmisdaad geïdentifiseer.

Stephen Jimenez is 'n bekroonde joernalis en gay man. Waarom het hy soveel tyd en moeite gedoen om te bewys dat die moord op Matthew nie 'n haatmisdaad was nie, veral omdat dit hom beskuldig het dat hy 'n bondgenoot was van die regse Christen -fundamentaliste wat die werklikheid van homofobie ontken?

"Die mening was dat homofobiese rooihals by 'n kroeg instap en 'n ooglopend gay man met geld sien, hom teiken en slaan om die rede," sê Jimenez. 'Maar dit is nie wat gebeur het nie. Niks in hierdie boek neem die ongeregtigheid en brutaliteit van die misdaad of die skuld van sy moordenaars weg nie, maar ons is die waarheid aan Matthew en ander jongmanne soos hy skuldig.

'Aaron en Matthew het 'n vriendskap gehad. Hulle was seksueel betrokke, hulle het dwelms van mekaar gekoop en verkoop. Dit bemoeilik die oorspronklike verhaal van twee vreemdelinge wat by 'n kroeg instap en Matthew - iemand wat hulle nie ken nie - teiken omdat hy gay was. "

Alhoewel McKinney nooit erken het dat hy Matthew ken nie, het Jimenez 'n dosyn bronne gevind wat hulle saam gesien het. Een daarvan is Kathleen Johnson, die voormalige eienaar van die Laramie -antiekwinkel Granny's Attic, wat Henderson, McKinney en Matthew geken het.

Die jong, werklose mans het nie 'n maklike lewe gehad nie. Henderson se ma was 'n chroniese alkoholis wat herhaaldelik deur sy pa geslaan is. McKinney het 'n groot deel van sy kinderjare alleen deurgebring, agtergelaat deur sy ma by sy grootouers, wat hom in die kelder toegesluit het om hom uit die moeilikheid te hou. 'Russell Henderson het gereeld met gay mense rondgehang,' het Johnson vir my gesê. 'Laramie het 'n groot gay bevolking gehad. Ek het geweet wat mense se seksuele oriëntasie is omdat die seun van my beste vriend gay was. Ek het gesien hoe hulle saam met Russell rondhang. ”

Die polisie het nie die moordenaars se verhouding met die gay -gemeenskap ondersoek nie.

Vyf dae na die aanval, op 12 Oktober, sterf Matthew. Op 14 Oktober is 'n beroemdheidswag gehou op die trappe van die Amerikaanse Capitol, bygewoon deur mense soos Ted Kennedy en Ellen DeGeneres. Elton John het blomme na Matt se begrafnis gestuur, Barbra Streisand het die balju van die provinsie in Albany gebel om vinnig op te tree oor die saak, en Madonna het 'n assistent van die universiteitspresident Philip Dubois gebel om te kla oor wat gebeur het. Die dag toe Matthew sterf, het president Clinton aan joernaliste in die Withuis gesê: 'In ons skok en hartseer moet een ding duidelik bly: haat en vooroordeel is nie Amerikaanse waardes nie.'

Die begrafnis is bygewoon deur meer as 1 000 rouklaers - en opgetel deur die Westboro Baptist Church, onder leiding van Fred Phelps, 'n ontslape predikant en stigter van GodHatesFags.com. Om die protes teen te werk, het Matthew se vriende as engele aangetrek.

JoAnn Wypijewski, 'n skrywer en voormalige senior redakteur by die Nasie, was een van die vele joernaliste wat na die nuus van Matthew se aanval na Laramie gekom het. Sy was daar vir Harper's Magazine en was die enigste joernalis wat vroeg al voorgestel het dat metamfetamien moontlik 'n rol gespeel het in die dood van Matthew. "Die saak is gebruik om die feit van geweld teen gay mense uit te lig," het Wypijewski aan my gesê. 'Wetgewing oor haatmisdaad onder Clinton bevat bepalings vir ras en verhoogde strawwe vir misdade teen vroue-dit is gebruik as versoeters [vir diegene aan die linkerkant]. Hulle was soos die identiteitspolitiek van die strafreg. Dit het sommige ander groepe die idee gegee dat wetgewing oor haatmisdaad 'n goeie ding is. ”

Wypijewski dink die rede waarom sommige dele van die gay -gemeenskap so kwaad is oor die Jimenez -boek, is voor die hand liggend: 'Jimenez het hul engel weggeneem en daar is 'n refleksiewe gevoel dat sy lyding uiteindelik as 'n gemeenskap herken word. Die mense wat die nuus vorm, vereis 'n baie eenvoudige verhaal - dit moet engele en skurke wees.

John Stoltenberg is 'n gay-regte-aktivis wat saam met die feministiese skrywer Andrea Dworkin gewoon het tot haar dood in 2005. Hy is 'n jarelange ondersteuner van Die Laramie -projek, maar het ook positief geblog oor Die boek Matt. "Om Matthew as die seuntjie van gay-haatmisdaad te hou en die volle tragedie van sy verhaal te ignoreer, was die agenda van baie gay-bewegingsleiers," sê hy. 'Om die tragedies van Matthew se lewe voor sy moord te ignoreer, sal niks help om ander jong mans in ons gemeenskap wat verkoop word vir seks, deur dwelms verwoes word en oor die algemeen uitgebuit word nie. Hulle sal onsigbaar en verlore bly. ”

Ted Henson is 'n voormalige minnaar en 'n lang vriend van Matthew. Die egpaar het oorspronklik ontmoet toe Matt in Saoedi -Arabië grootgeword het. Henson het vir my gesê hy glo dit Die boek Matt is "niks meer as die waarheid nie" en dat hy "nooit seker was" dat die moord 'n haatmisdaad teen gay is nie. 'Ek weet nie hoekom daar soveel vyandigheid teenoor Steve is nie,' het hy vir my gesê. 'Matt sou nie as 'n martelaar gesien wou word nie, maar sou wou hê dat die waarheid na vore moet kom.

Ander inwoners van Laramie glo dat daar 'n ander vorm van vooroordeel aan die werk is in die manier waarop Matthew se verhaal vertel word. Een wat betrekking het op die herhaaldelike idee dat Wyoming vol gay-haatdraers is. Ray Hageman het in 1998 verslag gedoen oor die saak vir die Wyoming -radio en was altyd skepties oor die mediakonstruksie van die verhaal. "Nasionale media kon nie 'n vertelling weerstaan ​​wat pas by sy vooropgestelde idees oor mense in die westelike westelike state nie," het Hageman aan my gesê. 'Weet u, ons eenvoudige mense met 'n stuk strooi wat uit ons mond hang, tabak spoeg en popblikkies van die voorstoep af skiet. Die mense in Laramie moes dit net aanvaar, want 'n man wat toevallig gay was, is in hul stad vermoor. ”

Die Matthew Shepard -stigting staan ​​vas daaroor dat die moord deur homofobiese haat aangevuur word. Ek het gevra vir 'n reaksie aangaande die boek, maar 'n vooraf voorbereide verklaring is gestuur deur uitvoerende direkteur Jason Marsden, 'n vriend van Matthew. 'Ons reageer nie op insinuasies, gerugte of samesweringsteorieë nie,' lui die verklaring wat die eerste keer uitgereik is Die boek Matt gepubliseer is. 'In plaas daarvan bly ons daartoe verbind om die geheue van Matthew te eer en weier ons te laat intimideer deur diegene wat dit wil besoedel. Ons is dit tienduisende donateurs, aktiviste, vrywilligers en bondgenote verskuldig aan die saak van gelykheid wat ons werk moontlik gemaak het. ”

Op 16 September het die Casper Star Tribune, het die plaaslike koerant in die geboorteplek van Matthew, 'n hoofartikel gepubliseer waarin beweer word dat 'n toekenning wat Jimenez onlangs vir sy boek ontvang het, 'verwerping verdien', en sê: 'Van die begin af was daar diegene wat die sadistiese homofobiese motiewe van die aanvallers van Shepard wil ignoreer en hou eerder vol dat die saak 'n dwelmooreenkoms was wat verkeerd gegaan het. "

Die debat sal ongetwyfeld woed. Die moord op Matthew Shepard sal vir sommige altyd 'n simbool wees van die haat wat baie lesbiërs en gay mans in die VSA en daarbuite in die gesig staar. Die stad Laramie kan 'n bietjie vertroosting vind om met sulke waardigheid en menslikheid te reageer in die nadraai en sy naam te verleen aan Die Laramie -projek, wat harte en gedagtes verander het. Maar die raaisel bly bestaan ​​- nie soseer waarom Matthew gesterf het nie, maar waarom die gay -gemeenskap, na byna vyf dekades se beywering vir gelyke regte, so fundamenteel staatmaak op die beeld van die volmaakte martelaar om die saak te verteenwoordig.


Was die verhaal van Matthew Shepard aan die wêreld verkeerd?

Stephen Jimenez, wat 13 jaar lank onderhoude gevoer het met meer as 100 mense met 'n verband met die saak, het sy teorie uiteengesit. Hy meen dit was nie 'n haatmisdaad nie, maar 'n dwelmooreenkoms het verkeerd geloop.

In die boek, The Book of Matt, ondersoek hy hierdie gerug uitvoerig.

Jimenez beweer die moordenaars het geweet Matthew het toegang tot 'n versending crystal meth met 'n straatwaarde van $ 10,000 wat hulle wou steel.

Die skrywer beweer ook dat Matthew by een van sy moordenaars geslaap het, albei met geweld deur 'n onbekende dwelmverskaffer.

Kritici het hierdie bewerings wyd gediskrediteer toe die boek vyf jaar gelede uitgereik is.

Kultuurresensent Alyssa Rosenberg het die boek bespot as ‘ego-gedrewe ’, ‘ vervaardig ’ en ‘ buitengewoon lomp ’.

Jimenez wil graag gesien word as 'n dapper sosiale kommentator en verslaggewer, ’ skryf sy.

In plaas daarvan laat sy gekose taal en die struktuur van sy boek hom soos 'n verouderde skinderpraatjie teëkom. ’

Jimenez het sy eie (moontlik vals) weergawe van die geskiedenis opgestel.


Harvey Milk in 1978. Brandon Teena in 1993. Matthew Shepard in 1998.

Die lys van goed gepubliseerde moorde op gay, lesbiese, biseksuele en transgender mense sluit nou slagoffers in van die ergste massaskietery in die Amerikaanse geskiedenis, waarin 49 mense die naweek by 'n gay nagklub in Orlando, Florida, doodgeskiet is.

Alhoewel dit duidelik wydverspreid is, en ver van beperk tot die afgelope dekades, is gewelddadige aanvalle wat geslag of seksualiteit het, moeilik om te kwantifiseer. "In die meeste lande is die afwesigheid van effektiewe stelsels vir die aantekening en aanmelding van haatgedrewe geweld, of 'haatmisdade', teen LGBT-persone die ware omvang van geweld," lui 'n verslag van die Verenigde Nasies verlede jaar. 'Waar dit bestaan, is amptelike statistieke geneig om die aantal voorvalle te onderskat.

Meer as 20 persent van die Amerikaanse haatmisdade in 2014 (die mees onlangse jaar beskikbaar) het mense geteiken weens seksuele oriëntasie of geslag, volgens FBI -statistieke wat deur die aktivistegroep Human Rights Campaign aangehaal is. Alhoewel talle mense die slagoffers van individuele aanvalle was, is groot groepe by nagklubs en ander instellings wêreldwyd ook aan geweld onderwerp.

Die motivering vir aanvalle op LGBT -mense was "en was nog altyd [oor] oënskynlik godsdienstige retoriek", sê Kaila Story, professor in vroue- en geslagstudies aan die Universiteit van Louisville.

Sy sê dat die naweekskietery met 'n terreurgroep verband hou, asof dit 'n deel van die Verenigde State is en nie 'n deel van ons Amerikaanse weefsel is nie, of dit 'n buitestaander is wat dit doen.

Die gewapende man in die aanval op Orlando, Sondag, Omar Matteen, het trou aan ISIS beloof, volgens nuusberigte.

Hier is 'n lys van aanvalle op gay -klubs en -byeenkomste - wat volgens Story dikwels nie voldoende sekuriteit het nie - wat die afgelope dekades wêreldwye aandag geniet het:

Gay Pride Parade, Jerusalem, 2015: 'N Ultra-Ortodokse Joodse man het ses mense met 'n mes gesteek, tien jaar nadat hy deelnemers aan dieselfde parade in 2005 aangeval het.


Ontvoering en moord

Slegs 'n paar maande nadat hy in Laramie aangekom het, op 6 Oktober 1998, ontmoet Shepard Aaron McKinney en Russell Henderson in 'n plaaslike kroeg, The Fireside Lounge. McKinney en Henderson beskou Shepard as 'n maklike teiken en het planne beraam om hom te beroof. In die vroeë oggendure van 7 Oktober het die paar hom van die kroeg af gelok en hom na 'n landelike gebied gery waar hulle hom aan 'n gesplete heining vasgemaak het, hom ernstig geslaan het met die boude van 'n .357 Smith & amp Wesson-pistool en vertrek hom om te sterf in die bykans vriespunt van die vroeë oggendure.

McKinney het later gesê dat hy aangeneem het Shepard was dood toe hulle vertrek. Shepard is 18 uur later ontdek deur 'n fietsryer, Aaron Kreifels, wat aanvanklik gedink het dat hy 'n voëlverskrikker is. Nog lewendig, maar in 'n koma, is Shepard na die Poudre Valley -hospitaal in Fort Collins, Colorado, gehaas. Vier dae lank lê Shepard in 'n hospitaalbed net in die gang van McKinney (wat daar was as gevolg van 'n haarbreuk van die skedel wat hy opgedoen het in 'n geveg wat hy net 'n paar uur nadat hy Shepard aangeval het) aangeval het. & #xA0

Benewens talle kneusplekke, letsels en letsels, is die breinstam van Shepard ernstig beskadig en het hy ook aan onderkoeling gely. Hy is om 12:53 vm. op 12 Oktober 1998. Kort daarna het die polisie die bloedige geweer sowel as Shepard & aposs skoene en beursie in McKinney se vragmotor gevind. McKinney en Henderson is gearresteer en is skuldig bevind aan moord en ontvoering. Albei het twee agtereenvolgende lewenslange termyn gekry.


Matthew Shepard is 22 jaar gelede oorlede. Wyoming het steeds nie 'n haatmisdaadwet nie

Mandjie blomme hang aan die heining waar Matthew Shepard, openlik gay Univ. van die Wyoming -student, is vasgebind gelaat, naby die dood geslaan in (later dodelike) woeste aanranding deur vermeende aanvallers Aaron McKinney en Russell Henderson. (Foto deur Steve Liss/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images) Steve Liss

CW: Hierdie artikel bevat beskrywings van haatmisdade en gewelddadige grappies.

Colin Monahan het geweet dat Wyoming 'n tempo sou verander, maar sy het gedink sy was gereed daarvoor. In 2016 verhuis Monahan en haar 30 -jarige lewensmaat, Shannon Lastowski, na die uittrede uit die voorstede van Chicago na Wapiti, 'n klein gemeenskap sonder gemeenskap in die noordwestelike hoek van die staat. Die egpaar het jare gelede die nabygeleë Yellowstone Nasionale Park besoek en Monahan, wat graag jag, is aangetrokke tot 'n ander wêreldse landskap wat sy beskryf as iets uit die film uit 1993 Jurassic Park.

'Ons het buffels en alles wat deurloop,' het Monahan gesê hulle., terwyl Lastowski tussenbeide kom dat hulle gereeld elande op die voorstoep van hul kajuit laat dwaal. 'Dit is net 'n magiese plek. Daarom trek mense hierheen: Hulle wil tussen die diere wees en na die uitsig kyk. ”

Die wildlewe in Wapiti is so alomteenwoordig dat Lastowski opgemerk het dat byna alle inwoners gedwing word om ten alle tye 'n geweer saam te dra vir hul beskerming. In Julie het amptenare van Yellowstone berig dat daar in 2020 'n rekord aantal grysbeer-aanvalle was, wat sewe in die drie-staat gebied van Wyoming, Montana en Idaho was. 'Dit maak nie saak wie jy is nie: as jy hul hemp of beursie oopmaak, is daar 'n geweer,' het Lastowski gesê.

Maar die moontlikheid dat 'n gelaaide vuurwapen in 'n ander se baadjie kan skuil, was nie 'n probleem voordat dit op hul drumpel verskyn het nie. Op 9 Oktober kom 'n groep van vyf individue uit die plaaslike gemeenskap na hul eiendom en eis dat hulle die perseel onmiddellik moet verlaat en nooit weer terugkeer nie. 'U soort is nie welkom hier nie, en u moet vertrek,' het 'n vrou vir hulle gesê en verwys na die feit dat hulle 'n lesbiese paartjie is.

Monahan het die groep herhaaldelik aangesê om in hul vragmotors te klim en weg te ry, maar hulle ignoreer die versoeke en dreig dreigend om die voorstoep van die egpaar in 'n halfsirkel. Lastowski het binnegegaan om 911 te bel, maar haar hande het so erg gebewe dat sy nie die telefoon kon skakel wat sy die ontvanger aan Monahan moes oorhandig nie.

Omdat die uitgestrekte gebied so yl bevolk is, kon 'n beampte nie by hul huis uitkom nie. Daar is gewoonlik slegs een onderbalju aan diens, en Monahan moes telefonies 'n polisieverslag indien.

Monahan het gesê dat hul teisteraars met 'n glimlag reageer en 'omdraai en baie stadig begin wegstap', waarskynlik met die wete dat daar min is wat die polisie aan die situasie kan doen. Ingevolge die Wyoming -wetgewing het Monahan gesê individue word slegs van teistering aangekla as die spesifieke voorval 'n herhaaldelike oortreding is. Anders sou die misdaad waarskynlik as burgerlike oortreding bestempel word, wat Lastowski meen nie genoeg is om te illustreer dat wat hul aanvallers gedoen het, verkeerd was nie.

'Dit was met voorbedagte rade,' het sy gesê. 'Hulle wou ons intimideer, en weet u wat? Hulle het daarin geslaag. Ek sal die eerste wees om te erken, ek is geïntimideer. Jy wen. Dit is my geskenk aan jou. ”

Wat Monahan en Lastowski nou wil hê, is wat Wyoming in die 22 jaar sedert die moord op Matthew Shepard nie in staat gestel het om die staat in die nasionale kollig te plaas nie: 'n omvattende haatmisdaadwet. Hoewel die stad Laramie sy eie plaaslike verordening goedgekeur het nadat die 21-jarige gay student op 6 Oktober 1998 aan 'n omheiningpaal vasgemaak is, is Wyoming een van slegs drie Amerikaanse state wat wetgewing oor haatmisdaad ontbreek. enige gemarginaliseerde groep, ongeag of die slagoffer LGBTQ+, inheemse Amerikaner, Jood, Moslem of kleurling is.

'Daar is baie mense wat nooit in 'n miljoen jaar sou vertrou dat wetstoepassers hulle beskerm nie, en hierdie wetsontwerp kan dit verander.'

'N Poging om 'n wetsontwerp op haatmisdade in Wyoming goed te keur, het in 1999 tot stilstand gekom nadat wetgewing met 'n eenstemmige marge in sy staatshuis misluk het en sedertdien nog nie nader gekom het nie, selfs ondanks die verloop van die haatmisdade Matthew Shepard en James Byrd Jr. Wet op voorkoming in 2009. Onderteken deur die voormalige president Barack Obama, is die belangrike wet ook vernoem na James Byrd, Jr., 'n 39-jarige swart man wat op 7 Junie 1998 vermoor is deur drie blanke supremaciste in Jasper, Texas, wat sleep hom agter 'n bakkie.

Monahan het gesê dat die aanneming van 'n wet op haatmisdade in Wyoming die egpaar groter ruimte sal gee om die onderonsie as teistering te kan voortsit. 'Met 'n haatmisdaadwet moet hulle dit net een keer doen,' het sy gesê, 'en dit sou genoeg wees om 'n paar gevolge te hê.'

Na dekades van traagheid, kan 2021 die jaar wees waarin Wyoming uiteindelik beweeg om inwoners van LGBTQ+ die beskerming te gee wat hulle sê hulle nodig het. Verteenwoordiger van die Huis van die Huis, Sara Burlingame, wat een van slegs drie vreemde wetgewers in die staat is, beywer hom tans vir haar tweede ampstermyn, en sou sy op 3 November herverkiesing wen, is sy van plan om 'n wetsontwerp op haatmisdaad ten volle inklusief te borg wanneer die wetgewer in Januarie weer byeenkom.

As uitvoerende direkteur van Wyoming Equality het Burlingame gesê dat die wet op die boeke 'die geleentheid bied om opleiding en hulpbronne aan te bied' om te verseker dat beamptes die bevoegdheid het om saam met lede van die LGBTQ+ -gemeenskap te werk. Sy het kennis geneem van 'n onlangse saak in 'n klein plattelandse dorpie van 1 000 mense waar 'n transgender 'teëgekom het met 'n gruwelike aanlyn teistering, bedrog en swaai', en die plaaslike polisie wou help, maar het baie min kennis oor hoe om selfs met 'n trans te kommunikeer. persoon.

'Die polisiemag het net geen opleiding gehad nie,' het Burlingame gesê hulle. 'So hulle vererger die skade deur haar verkeerd te genereer en haar te laat voel dat sy nie met hulle kan praat nie. Daar is baie mense wat net nooit in 'n miljoen jaar sou vertrou dat wetstoepassers hulle beskerm nie, en hierdie wetsontwerp kan dit verander. "

Deur 'n staatswye wet op haatmisdade in Wyoming te hê, sal dit ook help om 'n paar belangrike blindepunte in die nasionale wetgewing aan te spreek. Alhoewel die inwerkingtreding van die federale wet op haatmisdade Shepard-Byrd 'n historiese stap vorentoe was, hoef state nie haatmisdaaddata by die Federale Buro vir Ondersoeke aan te meld nie, en baie misdade val deur die krake. Namate haatmisdade in 2017 gedurende die eerste jaar van Donald Trump se presidentskap die hoogte ingeskiet het, wat vir die derde agtereenvolgende jaar gestyg het, was daar net vier aangetekende haatmisdade in Wyoming.

En in Maart 2019 het die Wyoming -advieskomitee aan die Amerikaanse kommissie vir burgerregte opgemerk dat die 'oorgrote meerderheid haatmisdade in die VSA in staatshowe vervolg word', wat beteken dat die federale wet moontlik nie op 'n meerderheid van hierdie sake betrekking het nie. Slegs 23 state noem beskerming op grond van beide seksuele oriëntasie en geslagsidentiteit in hul wette oor haatmisdaad.

LGBTQ+ -advokate bly hoopvol dat vordering op hande is nadat Georgië vroeër vanjaar 'n inklusiewe wet op haatmisdade aanvaar het, 'n wetsontwerp wat deur 'n Republikeinse meerderheidswet goedgekeur is en deur 'n Republikeinse goewerneur goedgekeur is. Alhoewel Georgië nog nooit in hierdie geskiedenis enige vorm van haatmisdaadwetgewing in sy geskiedenis aangeneem het nie, het die dood van Ahmaud Arbery, 'n 25-jarige swart joggie wat in Februarie deur drie wit mans doodgeskiet is, die politieke momentum laat opvlam neem aksie.

Alhoewel die state kosmeties 'n konserwatiewe grimering deel, is daar groot verskille tussen hulle. Wyoming word algemeen beskou as die land se sterkste GOP -vesting, en stem in 2016 vir Trump met die grootste marge van enige staat: 46 punte. Burlingame is slegs een van nege Demokrate wat in die Wyoming House of Representatives sit, 'n liggaam van 60 lede.

Monahan en Lastowski het opgemerk dat ander partye in baie uithoeke van die staat so min politieke mag het dat hulle vanjaar Republikein geregistreer het, dat daar geen Demokrate in die voorverkiesing was nie.

'Hier stem almal byna Republikein,' verduidelik Monahan. 'Die verskil is die soort kandidate wat Republikein is. You might have a more progressive Republican candidate and then you find out the longer you're here that many people who vote for the progressive Republican were actually Democrats their whole life until they moved here.”


Matthew Shepard’s Mother: Why Hate Crime Is Only Conquered When We Speak Up

In January, &ldquoEmpire&rdquo star Jussie Smollett reported a violent attack at the hands of two men outside his Chicago apartment building. Local police and prosecutors said Smollett fabricated the event, which the actor still vehemently denies. More than a dozen criminal charges, including falsifying a police report, were filed and later dropped by state attorneys. The resulting media storm became an ugly performance of partisan politics, inspired doubt in victims and accusers, and resulted in a President Trump Twitter tirade over the merit and motivation of violence against LGBTQ people. To refocus the conversation around hate crimes &mdash a reality beyond social media outrage and tabloid speculation &mdash Verskeidenheid turned to Judy Shepard, mother of the late Matthew Shepard, whose brutal murder inspired a national movement for the protection and dignity of queer people and minorities. &mdash Matt Donnelly

Although the story of my son Matt&rsquos life began on Dec. 1, 1976, the horrific events that took place shortly after midnight on Oct. 7, 1998, would cement his name into the history books. After being abducted by two men, driven to a remote area east of Laramie, Wyo., tied to a split-rail fence, severely beaten and left for dead, Matthew Shepard would become known across the world as the victim of one of the most notorious anti-gay hate crimes in American history.

Popular on Variety

Matt died on Oct. 12. His memorial service was attended by friends and family from around the world, garnering immense media attention and changing the way we talk about and deal with hate in America. Since Matt&rsquos death, his legacy has been to challenge and inspire millions of individuals to erase hate in all its forms from their daily lives. Although Matt&rsquos life was short, his story continues to have a great impact on young and old alike. His life echoes still in the thousands of activists who continue the struggle to replace hate with understanding, compassion and acceptance.

The LGBTQ community and members of many other minorities asserted their rights to safety and dignity with the 2009 enactment of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. This sorely needed and long-sought statute expanded existing hate crime law to include cases based on a victim&rsquos sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability. Our hope was that by helping police comprehensively address hate crimes, we would come to see them diminish and, hopefully, one day disappear. We believed that in Matt&rsquos memory, we were taking real steps forward for his fellow community members.

Sadly, the last few years have been a dramatic step backward, by decades, and our work to erase hate is garnering more attention than at any time in 20 years. The reality is, hate crimes are real, on the rise and chronically underreported, and they have widespread negative impacts on targeted communities. After decades of steady decline, hate crimes have been on the rise since 2015, with law enforcement agencies reporting 1,303 hate crime offenses based on sexual orientation alone in 2017. When we get the 2018 totals later this year, there is no doubt they will have risen yet again.

How do we combat this? When asked, &ldquoWhat can I do to erase hate?&rdquo my immediate response is &ldquoUse your voice and speak out!&rdquo It is our duty to pay attention, sound the alarm and prove that there are more of us than there are of them. If you have a platform, it is your responsibility not only to educate yourself but to confront those spreading falsehoods about the crisis of increasing violent attacks motivated by hatred.

And everyone has a platform. Whether it&rsquos a letter to the editor, calls to representatives, protest marches in your community, town halls, city council meetings or school board meetings, every day there is constructive work you can do in just a short time. You also must vote. Be inspired by Matt&rsquos passion to foster a more caring and just world, and be empowered by the thousands who stand with the Matthew Shepard Foundation and our efforts to end bias-motivated crime. Vote in your local, state and national elections. Advocate for anti-hate crime training for local law enforcement and prosecutors. Take action, and let your voice be heard.

Last year, the Matthew Shepard Foundation conducted 10 anti-hate crime training sessions, reaching more than 500 officers and prosecutors representing 104 law enforcement agencies across the nation. The foundation&rsquos work continues to change hearts and minds through Matt&rsquos story and deliver the message that hate crimes must be a priority for law enforcement agencies of every size in every state. Visit MatthewShepard.org for more information.

Judy Shepard, pictured with her late son, Matthew, and husband, Dennis in 1993, is co-founder of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, dedicated to ending hate crimes against LGBTQ people. Matthew died as the result of a hate crime in Wyoming in 1998, sparking a national movement.


Hate Crimes Timeline

There were challenges and victories - both big and small - along the way. Here’s a look back at some of the bigger developments in the fight for passage of federal hate crimes legislation.

February 22, 1989 | 101st Congress - The Hate Crimes Statistics Act is reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. It was also introduced in the 99th and 100th congresses. It would require the Department of Justice to collect and publish data about crimes motivated by hatred based on race, religion, ethnicity and sexual orientation.

June 27, 1989 | House passes the Hate Crimes Statistics Act by a 368-47 vote.

February 8, 1990 | The U.S. Senate passes the Hate Crimes Statistics Act by a 92-4 vote.

April 23, 1990 | President George H.W. Bush signs the bill into law.

March 1, 1993 | 103rd Congress - The Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act is reintroduced in the House (it was also introduced in the 102nd Congress). It would allow judges to impose harsher penalties for hate crimes, including hate crimes based on gender, disability and sexual orientation that occur in national parks and on other federal property.

September 21, 1993 | House passes the Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act by a voice vote.

October 6, 1993 | The Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act is introduced in the Senate.

November 4, 1993 | The Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act is added as an amendment to the Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. It is later enacted.

June 7, 1997 |"Such hate crimes, committed solely because the victims have a different skin color or a different faith or are gays or lesbians, leave deep scars not only on the victims but on our larger community. They are acts of violence against America itself."– President Bill Clinton in his weekly radio address

June 7, 1997 | President Clinton devotes his weekly radio address to hate crimes, specifically citing bias crimes against LGBTQ people. He asks Attorney General Janet Reno to review the laws concerning hate crimes and help the federal government develop a plan of action.

November 10, 1997 | HRC Executive Director Elizabeth Birch participates in a White House hate crimes summit convened by Clinton. HRC asks the White House to focus also on how law enforcement officials are trained to investigate and prosecute bias crimes. Before the summit concludes, Clinton unveils a package of initiatives that includes expanding federal hate crimes laws to encompass crimes aimed at people because they are gay or disabled, or because of their sex.

November 13, 1997 | 105th Congress - The Hate Crimes Prevention Act is introduced in the House and the Senate. The bill would extend the protection of the current federal hate crimes law to include those who are victimized because of their sexual orientation, gender or disability. It would also strengthen current law regarding hate crimes based on race, religion and national origin.

June 7, 1998 | James Byrd Jr., 49, of Jasper, Texas, accepts a ride from three white men. Instead of taking him home, the three men beat Byrd behind a convenience store, strip him naked, chain him by the ankles to their pickup truck and dragged him for three miles over rural roads outside Jasper. Forensic evidence suggests that Byrd had been attempting to keep his head up while being dragged, and an autopsy suggests that Byrd was alive during much of the dragging. Byrd dies after his right arm and head are severed after his body hit a culvert. His body had caught a sewage drain on the side of the road, resulting in his decapitation.

Officials quickly determined that the murderers were members of white supremacist groups, wore body tattoos from Aryan Pride, Nazi symbols and gang symbols of their affiliation with well known racist gangs. It was then documented as a hate crime.

October 6-7, 1998 | Matthew Shepard, 21, of Laramie, Wyo., meets two men, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, at a bar, and they drive him to a remote area east of Laramie, where they tie him to a split-rail fence, beat him and leave him to die in the cold of the night. Almost 18 hours later, he is found by a cyclist, who initially mistakes him for a scarecrow.

October 12, 1998 | Matthew Shepard dies at a hospital in Fort Collins, Colo.

October 1998 | Vigils are held across the country following the death of Matthew Shepard. One of the largest such vigils takes place on the steps of the U.S. Capitol and was organized by HRC, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

November 1998 | A bipartisan poll conducted for HRC finds that 56 percent of Americans support the Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

May 1999 | I know this measure is not a cure-all, and it won't stop all hate violence. But it will send the message that this senseless violence is unacceptable and un-American. My son Matthew was the victim of a brutal hate crime, and I believe this legislation is necessary to make sure no family again has to suffer like mine."– Judy Shepard, speaking before a U.S. Senate panel to urge the passage of federal hate crimes legislation

January 1999 | President Clinton mentions the passage of the Hate Crimes Prevention Act among his priorities in his State of the Union address.

February 1999 | A Gallup poll indicates that 75 percent of Americans believe that "homosexuals" should be covered by hate crimes laws.

March 1999 | 106th Congress - The Hate Crimes Prevention Act is reintroduced in the House and the Senate.

April 5, 1999 | Russell Henderson pleads guilty to the murder of Matthew Shepard and agrees to testify against Aaron McKinney. In exchange for his testimony, Henderson receives two consecutive life sentences with no chance for parole.

May 1999 | Judy Shepard speaks before a U.S. Senate panel to urge the passage of hate crimes legislation.

July 22, 1999 | The Senate passes the Hate Crimes Prevention Act after it is incorporated as an amendment to the Commerce, Justice and State appropriations bill.

October 1999 | HRC begins airing public service announcements featuring Judy and Dennis Shepard and aimed at curbing anti-LGBTQ violence and promoting a greater understanding of LGBTQ issues.

October 1999 | HRC National Dinner honors the memory of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. The Shepard and Byrd families attend as special guests.

October 25, 1999 | Trial of Aaron McKinney begins. Defense lawyers plan to argue that McKinney snapped when Shepard supposedly made a pass at him at a bar, triggering memories of a childhood sexual assault. The judge rejects the so-called "gay panic" defense.

November 4, 1999 | Aaron McKinney is found guilty in the murder of Matthew Shepard. In a deal that is approved by the Shepard family, McKinney avoids the death penalty and is sentenced to two consecutive life sentences with no chance for parole.

April 29, 2000 | Celebrities and 45,000 people gather at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., for HRC's Equality Rocks concert. One of the most powerful moments comes when HRC Executive Director Elizabeth Birch introduces Dennis and Judy Shepard and several other families who have been affected by hate crimes. They include Louvon Harris and Darrell Varrett, the sister and nephew of James Byrd Jr. Chuck and Eleanor Kadish, parents of Ben Kadish, a young boy seriously injured when a man carried out a violent rampage of a Jewish day school in Los Angeles and Ismael and Deena Illeto, the brother and sister-in-law of Joseph Illeto, a Filipino-American postal worker who died during that rampage.

October 2000 | HRC launches a radio ad campaign featuring Judy Shepard that asks then-presidential candidate George W. Bush, "Will you support including sexual orientation in federal hate crimes law?" HRC works with state and local groups in Texas to organize a rally in Austin, where local activists chanted and carried signs that read, "Answer Judy's Question."

January 2001 | MTV airs a movie about the murder of Matthew Shepard and shuts down programming for 17 hours to run a list of the names of hundreds of victims of hate crimes. More than 50,000 people send e-mails or signed petitions urging Congress and the Bush administration to support the hate crimes bill.

March 2001 | Judy Shepard joins the HRC Board of Directors.

Spring 2001 | 107th Congress - The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act is introduces in the House and the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act is introduced in the Senate. The legislation would provide federal assistance to states and local jurisdictions to prosecute hate crimes.

Fall/Winter 2001 | Following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, scores of hate-related incidents are directed at Muslims and people who appear to be of Middle Eastern descent. HRC works with allies to address these incidents and respond to the targeted communities. President Bush and federal law enforcement authorities speak out against these crimes and launch probes into more than 200 incidents across the country.

April/May 2003 | 108th Congress - The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act is reintroduced in the House and the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act is reintroduced in the Senate.

November 2004 | HRC counters ABC News’ inaccurate, sensationalized broadcast on "20/20" about Matthew Shepard's murder. In the program, which includes interviews with both men convicted of murdering Shepard, Aaron McKinney says his motivation for the murder was robbery, not hatred of gay people.

May 26, 2005 | 109th Congress - The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act is reintroduced in the House and the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act is reintroduced in the Senate.

"Matthew’s legacy is not about hate. Matthew’s legacy is about understanding, compassion, acceptance and love."– Judy Shepard, in an article she wrote for HRC's Equality magazine

2006 | Harris Interactive reports that 54 percent of LGBTQ people surveyed say they are concerned about being the victim of a hate crime.

Winter 2006 | Judy Shepard writes an article in HRC's Equality magazine reflecting on her son's legacy seven years after his death. "When I think about the last seven years, I feel a great sadness for the loss of Matt. But as I look to the future, I’m filled with hope," she writes. "Matthew’s legacy is not about hate. Matthew's legacy is about understanding, compassion, acceptance and love."

December 2006 | Judy Shepard joins the HRC Foundation Board.

2007 | A Gallup poll shows that 68 percent of Americans favor including sexual orientation and gender identity in federal hate crimes law. More than half of conservatives (57 percent) and Republicans (60 percent) back inclusive legislation. Support is strongest among self-identified liberals (82 percent), Democrats (75 percent), those affiliated with non-Christian religious faiths (74 percent) and Catholics (72 percent).

March/April 2007 | 110th Congress - The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act is introduced in the House, and the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act is introduced in the Senate.

Spring 2007 | HRC produces a two-minute video in support of the passage of the Matthew Shepard Act. It features the stories of LGBTQ people who been injured or killed by hate violence: Evan Kittredge, Fred Martinez and Matthew Shepard. Using images from photojournalist Lynn Johnson with Cyndi Lauper’s song "All Through the Night," the video is a poignant call for people to get involved in the fight to pass hate crimes legislation.

May 3, 2007 | The House passes the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act by a floor vote of 237-180.

June 2007 | The Williams Institute reports that on average, 13 out of 100,000 gay, lesbian and bisexual people report hate violence every year. The 13 compares to 8 for African-Americans, 12 for Muslim-Americans and 15 for Jewish-Americans.

July 2007 | HRC produces a video that confronts the lies from the right wing about hate crimes legislation.

Spring 2007 | Peter D. Hart Research Associates releases the results of a poll showing that support for protections against hate violence is strong - even across partisan and racial lines. The results show that three in four voters support including sexual orientation in federal hate crimes laws, including 85 percent of Democrats, 74 percent of Independents, 64 percent of Republicans, 74 percent of African-Americans, 74 percent of Latinos and 74 percent of Caucasians.

Summer 2007 | Judy Shepard is featured on the front cover of HRC’s Equality magazine. By this date, she has spoken to more than 1 million youths about the damaging effects of hate and the importance of embracing diversity.

September 27, 2007 | The Senate invokes cloture on the hate crimes legislation by a vote of 60-39. A voice vote adds the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act as an amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization Act. It is the first time that a transgender-inclusive piece of legislation passes both chambers of Congress.

Fall 2007 | President Bush issues a veto threat for the Defense authorization bill if hate crimes legislation is attached, ending consideration of the hate crimes bill in the 110th Congress.

December 6, 2007 | The hate crimes amendment is stripped from the Defense Department authorization legislation.

Spring 2008 | Sen. Edward Kennedy speaks at HRC's spring board meeting and reaffirms his commitment to passing inclusive federal hate crimes legislation.

November 18, 2008 | President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team releases its vision of support for the civil rights and LGBTQ community in a straightforward and timely plan. It details a plan to expand hate crimes statutes.

April 2009 | 111th Congress - The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act is introduced in the House, and the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act is introduced in the Senate.

April 6, 2009 | HRC launches http://www.fighthatenow.org/ to counter lies and distortions about federal hate crimes legislation. It provides supporters with the tools to directly contact their members of Congress to urge them to support the legislation.

April 21, 2009 | HRC releases a new video in conjunction with the campaign to pass federal hate crimes legislation. The video, "10 Years," features Judy Shepard. HRC also announces the #FightHateNow hashtag for Twitter users to contribute to and stay current on the status of the federal hate crimes bill.

April 27-29, 2009 | HRC holds a national call-in campaign for supporters to call their congressional representatives to urge quick passage of hate crimes legislation, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009.

April 29, 2009 | The House passes the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act by a floor vote of 249-175.

May 20, 2009 | President Obama meets with Judy Shepard and reiterates his commitment to ensuring that the Senate finalize the hate crimes bill.

July 16, 2009 | Senate cloture motion on the hate crimes bill passes by a 63-28 vote. The bill is added to the Defense Department Authorization bill.

July 23, 2009 | The Senate passes the Defense Department Authorization bill, on which the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act is attached as an amendment. The bill goes to a conference committee to work out differences between the House and Senate versions of the legislation.

October 6, 2009 | The House fails to pass a motion, by a 178-234 vote, to instruct conferees to strip the hate crimes provision (now titled "Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act") from the Defense Dept. authorization bill conference report.

October 8, 2009 | The House passes the conference report by a 281-146 vote.

October 10, 2009 | President Obama reiterates his support for hate crimes legislation at the 13th annual HRC National Dinner. Dennis and Judy Shepard are honored with the first annual Edward M. Kennedy National Leadership Award.

October 22, 2009 | October 22, 2009 - The Senate votes 68-29 to pass the Defense Department authorization bill that includes a provision for inclusive federal hate crimes legislation. HRC launches Love Conquers Hate to celebrate the victory.

October 28, 2009 | President Barack Obama signs the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law (as a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act). Before signing the legislation, President Obama says, "I promised Judy Shepard when I saw her in the Oval Office that this day would come, and I'm glad that she and her husband Dennis could join us for this event."


Remembering and Honoring Matthew Shepard

HRC marks the tragic death of Matthew Shepard 21 years ago.

Post submitted by former Editorial Producer, Print and Digital Media Rokia Hassanein

HRC marks the tragic death of Matthew Shepard 21 years ago. As we mourn with the Shepard family, we recommit to our shared work combating hate and advocating for laws that protect LGBTQ people and mandate the accurate accounting of crimes against our community.

Shepard was attacked in Laramie, Wyoming, in an anti-gay hate crime on Oct. 6, 1998. He died from his injuries six days later. In his memory, HRC remains vigilant in its work against hate and to ensure that no one is targeted because of who they are or who they love.

Since his death, significant progress has been made to expand protections and support for victims of hate-motivated crime, including the 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. Just months before Shepard was murdered, Byrd, a Black man, was beaten by a group of white supremacists, tied to the back of a pickup truck and dragged three miles before dying. The Shepard and Byrd families worked tirelessly to pass the historic act.

At this year&rsquos HRC Foundation&rsquos Time to THRIVE conference, Judy and Dennis Shepard were presented with the Upstander Award for their steadfast commitment to advocacy after their son&rsquos horrific murder.

Even with the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, we still have a long way to go. Too many in the LGBTQ community, particularly transgender women of color, are targeted with violence. Just this year, 19 transgender people have been killed -- and most were victims of gun violence.

That&rsquos why during her remarks at HRC&rsquos Time to THRIVE conference, Judy Shepard emphasized the importance of protecting LGBTQ people nationwide.

&ldquoWe have a situation in this country right now that is temporary, but even in this temporary time, it becomes extra important because those who don&rsquot want us here are emboldened in their beliefs&hellip We need to work with the Human Rights Campaign, our own state legislators, our senators because state by state we can do this but we really need to do it federally,&rdquo she said.

In the states, it is imperative that local and state law enforcement expand trainings and infrastructure so they can better serve diverse communities -- and fully and accurately report on the extent of anti-LGBTQ violence. HRC has also called on state legislatures to pass inclusive non-discrimination protections and hate crimes laws, and the U.S. Senate to pass the Equality Act, which would provide explicit protection for LGBTQ people nationwide. Lawmakers must also act to ensure that training and data-collection around all hate crimes is mandatory, not voluntary.

We must combat the divisive rhetoric and dangerous policies that dehumanize large swaths of the public. The combination of transphobia, homophobia, misogyny, xenophobia and racism can inflame hate, often leading to deadly consequences. That&rsquos why the LGBTQ community needs lawmakers to act with the urgency this ongoing crisis demands.

HRC vows to continue honoring with action the memory of Shepard, Byrd and all those whose lives have been ended by hate.


Hate Crimes Are Designed To Strike Fear In The Broader Community

ADL's Oren Segal says hate crimes are designed to strike fear into the broader community, not just the individual attacked. And with social media, extremists can "pile on" after the fact, too.

The 1998 torture and murder of gay student Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming, was a turning point for gay rights in the United States, prompting outrage, sorrow and activism. His murderers were both given consecutive life sentences, although they weren’t charged with a hate crime.

There were no federal or state laws at the time equipped to deal with violence dealt solely because of a person’s sexuality or gender identity. The federal government wouldn’t move substantially to address the kind of hatred that took Shepard’s life for almost 20 years, as explained on Oxygen’s new special, “Uncovered: Killed By Hate.”

Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson were around 21-year-old Shepard’s age when they chatted him up the evening of Oct. 6 at the Fireside Lounge in Laramie. Matthew had just come from a meeting of his college LGBT association, where the group was planning awareness activities, according to the BBC.

Twenty-one years after beating Shepard into a coma and leaving him hanging in near-freezing temperatures from a wooden fence for 18 hours, McKinney and Henderson both remain in prison. They have both taken starkly different paths since they were sentenced, however.

McKinney was last serving his time in a Mississippi prison, as of late last year, and refusing interview requests, the Associated Press reported. However, McKinney did speak with actor Greg Pierotti in 2009, for a revival of “The Laramie Project,” a play centering around the fallout from Shepard’s murder, according to Today.com.

In a recorded 10-hour interview, which was adapted into a new act of the play, McKinney revealed that people should have little doubt Shepard’s murder was a hate crime — and that he feels no remorse.

“The night I did it, I did have hatred for homosexuals,” McKinney told Pierotti, according to the Denver Post. He also admitted that when he and Henderson zeroed in on that night at the Fireside Lounge, they did so because “he was obviously gay.”

“That played a part. His weakness. His frailty,” McKinney told Pierotti.

And, in 2018, Albany County Sheriff David O’Malley, who investigated Shepard’s murder 20 years before, shared a letter written to Henderson by McKinney while the two were both awaiting trial.

In the letter, McKinney tells Henderson that, at trial, he wants his friend to blame “everything” on him — even alleging that Henderson asked him to stop beating Shepard, and that he was “drunk and pointing a cannon” at his friend, according to the Coloradoan.

He also makes clear the homophobic element of the brutal murder — although he claims not to have known Shepard was gay when he and Henderson first approached him.

“After that, he mouthed off, so I hit him a few more times and his fag ass died,” McKinney wrote. “… At no time did we know he was gay until he tried to get on me.”

Stephen Belber, one of the playwrights of “The Laramie Project,” interviewed Henderson for the same production in 2009, and told the Denver Post the experience was different than Pierotti's with the apparently remorseless McKinney. Henderson has taken a victim empathy course, and even written a letter of apology to Judy Shepard, Matthew's mother, Belber said.

Henderson believes that the United States should revamp its federal hate crime laws to protect everyone, even nearly a decade after the passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, according to a 2018 Associated Press interview.

At a medium-security facility in Torrington, Wyoming, Henderson was working with hospice patients who were also serving jail time, and volunteering training shelter dogs, according to the report. Henderson reiterated that he was deeply sorry for Shepard’s murder.

“I think about Matthew every single day of my life,” Henderson said, according to the Associated Press. “I think about him and every single one of those days that I’ve had that he hasn’t had, his family hasn’t had, his friends haven’t had. I’m so, so ashamed I was ever part of this.”

For more on Shepard’s murder, as well as other brutal hate crimes and the current rise of extremist violence in the United States, watch “Uncovered: Killed By Hate,” airing Sunday at 7/6c op Oxygen.


Public reaction and the aftermath

The anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, led by Fred Phelps, picketed Shepard's funeral as well as the trial of his assailants, ⎪] ⎫] displaying signs with slogans such as "Matt Shepard rots in Hell", "AIDS Kills Fags Dead" and "God Hates Fags". ⎬] When the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled that it was legal to display any sort of religious message on city property if it was legal for Casper's Ten Commandments display to remain, Phelps made attempts to gain city permits in Cheyenne and Casper to build a monument "of marble or granite 5 or Template:Convert in height on which will be a bronze plaque bearing Shepard's picture and the words: "MATTHEW SHEPARD, Entered Hell October 12, 1998, in Defiance of God's Warning: 'Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind it is abomination.' Leviticus 18:22." ⎭] ⎮] ⎯] ⎰]

As a counterprotest during Henderson's trial, Romaine Patterson, a friend of Shepard's, organized a group of individuals who assembled in a circle around the Phelps group wearing white robes and gigantic wings (resembling angels) that blocked the protesters. Police had to create a human barrier between the two protest groups. ⎱] While the organization had no name in the initial demonstration, it has since been ascribed various titles, including 'Angels of Peace' and 'Angel Action'. ⎪] ⎫] The fence to which Shepard was tied and left to die became an impromptu shrine for visitors, who left notes, flowers, and other mementos. It has since been removed by the land owner.

In the years following Shepard's death, his mother Judy has become a well-known advocate for LGBT rights, particularly issues relating to gay youth. She is a prime force behind the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which supports diversity and tolerance in youth organizations.

People in the entertainment industry expressed their own outrage and responded in various ways to the attack:

    hosted Shepard's memorial services in Washington, D.C.
  • Three films were made about the Shepard's story: The Laramie Project (based on the play of the same name), The Matthew Shepard Story en Anatomy of a Hate Crime.The Laramie Project en The Matthew Shepard Story both won numerous awards. Shepard can also be seen in the documentary Dear Jesse in a brief interview, released to the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival on October 10, 2 days before he died. ⎲]
    , widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, wrote to Judy Shepard expressing her sympathy and her belief that civil rights include gay and lesbian rights.
  • Radio DJ Howard Stern invited members of the Westboro Baptist Church on to The Howard Stern Show. The show's cast and callers proceeded to insult the church's members. The group has appeared on the show several times since each time Stern makes numerous comments denouncing the group and its cause. ⎳] and Bernie Taupin wrote a song about the death of Matthew Shepard entitled "American Triangle" which is included on John's 2001 album "Songs From the West Coast" has dedicated her song "Merman" (1999) to Matthew Shepard, a tender lullaby that can be found on the compilation album No Boundaries: A Benefit for the Kosovar Refugees.
  • Metal band Trivium has written a song on their latest album The Crusade which is about the story of Matthew Shepard and what happened that night.
  • Melissa Etheridge wrote a song about Matthew called 'Scarecrow' on her 'Breakdown' album
  • New Jersey band Thursday wrote a song called 'M. Shepard', featuring on their album, War All the Time.

The (lack of) media coverage of the Jesse Dirkhising and Gary Trzaska cases has been compared ⎴] ⎵] to Shepard's as an illustration of politically correct media bias.


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