Scroll To Top
World

Judy Shepard on Historic Bill Signing

Judy Shepard on Historic Bill Signing

Judy_mattx390_1

Judy Shepard, her husband, Dennis, and son, Logan, attended the bill signing in the White House Oval Office.

Moments after President Barack Obama signed landmark legislation enacting a hate-crimes law protecting LGBT victims, the parents of slain gay student Matthew Shepard released a statement.

"When Dennis and I started calling 10 years ago for federal action to prevent and properly prosecute hate crimes against gay, lesbian, and transgendered Americans, we never imagined it would take this long," said Judy Shepard, Matthew's mother and the president of the Matthew Shepard Foundation board of directors. Her son, for whom the measure was named (along with James Byrd Jr.), was murdered in Wyoming in 1998 after being targeted because he was gay.

"The legislation went through so many versions and so many votes that we had to constantly keep our hopes in check to keep from getting discouraged," she continued. "But with President Obama's support and the continually growing bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate lining up behind the bill this year, it became clear that 2009 was the year it would finally happen."

"We are incredibly grateful to Congress and the president for taking this step forward on behalf of hate-crime victims and their families, especially given the continuing attacks on people simply for living their lives openly and honestly," Shepard added. "But each of us can and must do much more to ensure true equality for all Americans."

Judy Shepard, her husband, Dennis, and son, Logan, attended the bill signing in the White House Oval Office.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Advocate.com Editors