Human Rights Campaign Releases Judy Shepard Video as Congress Takes up Hate Crimes Legislation

by HRC Staff

Mother of slain gay man makes plea to update federal statute.

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign- the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization- released a video today as part of the effort to pass the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (LLEHCPA) featuring Judy Shepard whose son Matthew was murdered in 1998 because he was gay.

"It's been ten years since Judy Shepard lost her son Matthew and this video is a painful reminder that the federal government does not have the resources it needs to assist in prosecuting these horrific acts," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "Since Matthew's murder, tens of thousands of Americans have been victims of hate violence and it's time to give local law enforcement the tools to combat this scourge."

Tomorrow, the House Judiciary Committee will mark up the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (LLEHCPA), also known as the Matthew Shepard Act. The bill would give the Justice Department the power to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated violence by providing the department with jurisdiction over crimes of violence where the victim is chosen because of the person's actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

The video profiles the stories of hate crimes victims who were targeted because of who they are. They include:

To watch the video, "Ten Years," and take action, go to

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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