Matthew Shepard

Matthew Shepard2 posts
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13 May, 2015

Laramie approves anti-discrimination law

Law approved

The Laramie City Council approves a local anti-discrimination ordinance in the college town where Shepard’s death triggered nationwide sympathy and brought a re-examination of attitudes toward gays 17 years ago. The council votes 7-2 in favor of the measure that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, employment and access to public facilities such as restaurants. Local organizers focused their efforts on Laramie after the Legislature repeatedly rejected anti-discrimination bills, most recently early this year. Shepard’s mother:

I’m thrilled that Laramie’s doing it, at the same time sort of saddened that the state of Wyoming can’t see fit to do that as well.Maybe the rest of Wyoming will understand this is about fellow human beings and not something that’s other than what they are…But I feel like if Wyoming had done more to open the door to acceptance, that kind of reputation would have disappeared very quickly. Instead of taking advantage of the moment, they just sort of turned around and ran.

12 Oct, 1998

Gay man’s murder sparks vigils


Shepard’s death sparks outrage, spawns vigils, produces calls for Federal hate-crimes legislation. In Denver, mourners write messages on a graffiti wall as part of national Gay Awareness Week. In San Francisco, the giant rainbow flag that symbolizes the gay rights movement is lowered to half-staff in the Castro district. National gay and lesbian rights director:

There is incredible symbolism about being tied to a fence. People have likened it to a scarecrow. But it sounded more like a crucifixion.

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