News Brief: Matthew Shepard’s Parents Lash Back at Anti-LGBT Discrimination

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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News Brief Matthew Shepard’s Parents Lash Back at Anti-LGBT Discrimination

News Brief Matthew Shepard’s Parents Lash Back at Anti-LGBT Discrimination

News Brief:  Matthew Shepard’s Parents Lash Back at Anti-LGBT Discrimination

In 1998, Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old gay man, was tortured and left for dead on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming.  His tragic death was met with a significant push for hate crimes legislation and the start of the Matthew Shepard Foundation.  Nineteen years later, his parents, Judy and Dennis Shepard, have written an impassioned letter in the Huffington Post reflecting and criticizing the recent removal of several LGBT protections in the US. 

They wrote, “Please don’t overlook those who are being discriminated against now.  There is nothing more we can do for Matt, but we can continue to do good work in his memory and try to prevent the same thing from happening to other people’s children.”

In the letter, the Shepards highlighted the removal of several LGBT protections, including the removal of the right of trans students to use the bathroom of their gender at school.  They also alluded to President Trump’s “heavy thumbed transgender military ban tweets.”

“A collective grief and outrage has awakened among the LGBTQ+ community and its allies after endless decades of cruelty and exclusion.  It feels pretty obvious that this community is being targeted again.  How can this be? How can it be 2017, and still we don’t have full equality?”

Throughout the Trump administration LGBT+ rights in the United States have been under threat, most recently with a government directive allowing businesses to discriminate against LGBT people on religious grounds.”

They went on to write, “We know all too well the policies the current administration is trying to impose on the country are a direct assault on our community and nothing more than shameful discrimination.”

The letter ended optimistically, though; providing a glimpse of to the reader, “We see every day how, despite amazing advances, the civil rights and dignity of all who differ from society’s expectations still are threatened by ignorance and hatred.  Erase hate in your corner of the country or the world.  If you and all those around you do that, with heart, every day, we will finally live in the hate-free world we seek and deserve.”