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Hate Crimes

WATCH: No Hate Crime in Matthew Shepard's Death, Says Antigay Lawyer

WATCH: No Hate Crime in Matthew Shepard's Death, Says Antigay Lawyer

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The characterization of Shepard's murder is part of a scheme promoting 'the homosexual agenda' of 'unfettered sexual liberty and the silencing of all dissent,' says lawyer Erik Stanley.

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The characterization of Matthew Shepard's murder as an antigay hate crime was concocted to "advance the homosexual agenda" and has been "debunked," a lawyer with the right-wing Alliance Defending Freedom told attendees Monday at a conference sponsored by the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

It's all part of a public relations strategy to portray gays as victims, ADF attorney Erik Stanley told those gathered at the Nashville conference, titled "The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage." That strategy was put forth, he said, in the the book After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90's, by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen, which he cited as "a playbook for how to advance the homosexual agenda." The book is now out of print.

"Think of the narrative of the Matthew Shepard crime, which has now been debunked as a homosexual hate crime," Stanley said, as an example of what he claimed are inaccurate depictions of gays as victims. "Think of hate-crimes laws."

Watchdog group Media Matters, which posted video of Stanley's presentation, notes that these claims of debunking have themselves been widely debunked.

In his speech, Stanley also asserted that "the endgame of the homosexual legal agenda is unfettered sexual liberty and the silencing of all dissent." TV shows featuring likable gay characters, such as Modern Family, contribute to this effort, he said.

The Southern Baptist conference continues through Wednesday. Watch the clip of Stanley below.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.