Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act passes 68-29 – Michelle Palmer – Austin Civil Rights Examiner

Judy Shepard has worked for 11 long years to secure the passage of the legislation that makes the assault or murder of someone based on their orientation or gender identification a hate crime.

Mrs. Shepard’s battle began in early October of 1998, when her son, 21-year-old Matthew, was attacked shortly after midnight on October 7, 1998 in Laramie, Wyoming. Shepard, a gay man, met Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson in a bar. McKinney and Henderson offered Shepard a ride in their car, and later robbed, pistol whipped, tortured and tied Matthew to a fence in a remote, rural area, then left him to die.