“They’re Fighting a Losing Battle” – Matthew Shepard’s Mother Speaks Out Against Anti-LGBTQ Legislation, Says Haters Are Losing Ground

Matthew Shepard was a 1998 hate crime victim who lost his life to anti-LGBTQ hatred. His mother, Judy, speaks out about legislation that puts queer people at risk. Find out what she has to say.

Parents Speak Their Minds

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Speaking to The Today Show, Judy Shepard discussed the state of LGBTQ rights in the United States.

“They’re still being denied basic rights,” she said. 

The Numbers Don’t Lie

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The numbers back up Mrs. Shepard’s concerns. According to the FBI, hate crimes have increased by over 19 percent from 2021 to 2022.

Anti-trans hate crimes alone went up 35 percent.

“It’s Infuriating to Me” – Hate Crimes Continue

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“…The outward showing of hate again, it’s infuriating to me,” Mrs. Shepard continued.

After losing her son Matthew to a violent hate crime in 1998, Judy and her husband Dennis started the Matthew Shepard Foundation. 

A Nonprofit for Gay Rights

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The foundation “empowers individuals to embrace human dignity and diversity through outreach, advocacy, and resource programs,” according to its website.

A Senseless Tragedy

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Matthew was killed when two men, posing as members of the gay community, approached him in a bar and invited him to a party.

The brutal events that followed led to Matthew’s death in a hospital six days later. 

The President Remembers

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Honoring the 25th anniversary of Matthew’s passing, President Biden said in a statement, “Matthew’s tragic and senseless murder shook the conscience of the American people.”

New Laws Are “A Losing Battle”

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In reference to new anti-LGBTQ laws being passed across the country, Judy Shepard spoke out against legislators backing such bills.

“They know they’ve lost the war, but this battle is just the last, most vicious attack on the community…they’re fighting a losing battle.”

The Fight Continues

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Mrs. Shepard expressed her surprise that the battle for LGBTQ rights is still not yet won, but she is still hopeful for the future of gay rights.

“All those who were fighting against the gay community, this is their last gasp,” she said.

Matthew Shepard Remembered

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During the interview, Mrs. Shepard described her son’s gentle nature. “He…really cared about folks he thought had less than they should have had.”

Her husband chimed in to add that Matthew “didn’t want anybody’s feelings to be hurt.”

No Call to Live In Fear

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The Shepards stressed that they don’t want younger generations of gay people to live their lives afraid.

Mrs. Shepard described a desire to share Matthew’s story so that people would “understand Matt was a human being.”

“I Don’t Want Them to Fear for Themselves”

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She continued, “I want them to understand the pain of it and to understand that we’re all different.

I don’t want them to feel that fear for themselves or their friends, but I want them to understand that this did happen and is still happening.” 

A Never-Ending Battle

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As for the state of LGBTQ rights in today’s climate, Mrs. Shepard said, “I’m so tired of being angry.” 

Twenty-Five Years On, the Battle Persists

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She and Mr. Shepard did not expect to be fighting for so many years after Matthew’s death, but even after planning to retire, the 2016 presidential election gave them the motivation they needed to continue.

More Communities to Fight For

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Mr. Shepard noted that they are fighting for more than just the gay community.

He said, “We still have to fight harder now to keep what we do have and to improve it for everybody around the country and all the marginalized communities because they’re going after everybody.”

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The post “They’re Fighting a Losing Battle” – Matthew Shepard’s Mother Speaks Out Against Anti-LGBTQ Legislation, Says Haters Are Losing Ground first appeared on Mama Say What?!

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