HRC Blog

HRC Remembers Matthew Shepard

Post submitted by Brian Moulton, Former HRC Legal Director

Thirteen years ago today, Matthew Shepard was attacked in a brutal hate crime.  Five days later, his young life was cruelly snuffed out by this act of anti-gay hatred.  However, the tremendous strength and courage of his parents, Dennis and Judy Shepard, together with a galvanized community, did not allow Matthew's death to be in vain.  After over a decade of relentless work, on October 28, 2009, the Shepards witnessed President Obama sign the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law.  This landmark legislation, the first federal civil rights law to explicitly protect the LGBT community, provides new tools to law enforcement to help ensure that hate crimes are investigated and prosecuted.     

Today we remember Matthew and all those who have lost their lives to hatred.

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