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Campaign Launched to Memorialize Matthew Shepard on Postage Stamp

Matthew Shepard Commemorative USPS Stamp
Photo Illustration: Stamp image courtesy of Matthew Shepard US Postage Stamp Campaign

The announcement came on what would have been Matthew Shepard's 47th birthday. He was killed in 1998, having been attacked and tied to a fence to be left for dead.


A campaign has been launched to petition the U.S. Postal Service to issue a stamp in Matthew Shepard's honor.

The announcement came on Friday, which would have been Shepard's 47th birthday. He was murdered in an antigay hate crime when he was a 21-year-old student at the University of Wyoming, having been tied to a fence and left to die.

Shepard's death spurred the creation of hate crimes laws across the country, including the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which is a federal law against bias crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people.

“Matt’s murder was a wake-up call to folks who were oblivious to hate crimes committed against members of the LGBTQ+ community,” Judy Shepard, Shepard's mother, and cofounder of the Matthew Shepard Foundation with husband Dennis Shepard. “This stamp will be a wonderful way to keep his legacy alive.”

She added: "It is important to remember and recognize that hate and violence shouldn’t be tolerated in a civilized society. Matt became the face of fighting hate crimes and working toward solutions and alerted us all to hate crimes committed against other marginalized communities."

Related: Matthew Shepard's Murder Remembered 25 Years Later With a Renewed Call to Fight Anti-LGBTQ+ Hate

The stamp, pictured above, was designed by artist and book illustrator Clarione Gutierrez-Owens.

For the launch of the campaign, National Stamp Campaign Chair and San Diego City Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez said, “Matthew Shepard has become an international symbol for acceptance, tolerance, and his legacy is a stand against hate of any kind.”

On the 25th anniversary of Shepard's death earlier this year, Cathy Renna, the communications director of the LGBTQ+ Taskforce who was on the ground after Shepard's death in Wyoming to advise reporters, said, “It was heartbreaking to see the effect on his friends and on the town.”

“The reality is that if we don’t keep these stories alive … then we’re really not going to make the progress we want to make,” she said at the time.

The campaign urges those who support the stamp to write letters of support to Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee c/o Stamp Development, 475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW, Room 3300, Washington, D.C. 20260-3501. More information can be found on the campaign's website.

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