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Who was Matthew Shepherd? 


Matthew Wayne Shepard (December 1, 1976 – October 12, 1998) was an openly gay American student at the University of Wyoming who was beaten, tortured, and left to die near Laramie on the night of October 6, 1998. He was taken by rescuers to Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he died six days later from severe head injuries received during the attack. Shepard's murder brought national and international attention to hate crime legislation at both the state and federal level. In October 2009, the United States Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (commonly the "Matthew Shepard Act" or "Shepard/Byrd Act" for short), and on October 28, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the legislation into law. Following her son's murder, Judy Shepard became a gay rights activist and established the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Shepard's murder inspired films, novels, plays, songs, and other works. In June 2019, Shepard was one of the inaugural fifty American "pioneers, trailblazers, and heroes" inducted on the National LGBTQ Wall of Honor within the Stonewall National Monument (SNM) in New York City's Stonewall Inn. The SNM is the first U.S. national monument dedicated to LGBTQ rights and history, and the wall's unveiling was timed to take place during the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

Interment in Washington National Cathedral: On October 26, 2018, just over 20 years after his death, Shepard's ashes were interred at the crypt of Washington National Cathedral. The ceremony was presided over by the first openly gay Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson, and the Bishop of Washington Reverend Marianne Edgar Budde. Music was performed by the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington DC, GenOUT, and Conspirare, which performed Craig Hella Johnson's Considering Matthew Shepard. His was the first interment of the ashes of a national figure at the cathedral since Helen Keller's fifty years earlier.


Source: Home - Matthew Shepard Foundation

Source: Matthew Shepard - Wikipedia

Source: Matthew Shepard Laid To Rest At Washington National Cathedral : NPR

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