Question: Who is Matthew Shepard?
Matthew Shepard was a college student in Laramie, Wyoming in October 1998 when he left a bar with two men who would later beat him and abandoned him in a rural area. Comatose, he was found the next morning by a bicyclist who initially mistook him for a scarecrow. Matthew was so badly beaten, he died five days later.
Matthew Shepard's story touched the nation. Candlelight vigils were held across the nation. Celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres spoke out against anti-gay violence.
To this day, the violent crime against Matthew Shepard is a symbol of the violence that gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people experience.
Matthew Shepard's Legacy
The Matthew Shepard Foundation
was founded by Matthew's mother, Judy Shepard, now an activist for LGBT rights and hate crimes legislation. The foundation works for civil rights, works to "erase hate" by working for hate crime legislation and education about hate crimes and contribute to the work of lgbt youth organizations.
The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Law
A national hate crimes law was named after Matthew Shepard and is still waiting passage by the United States Congress.
Here's more about the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Law