home news topics photos press opinion donate contact

Remembering Matthew Shepard

10 years after tragic murder, discrimination, violence still an issue

By JESSICA PUPOVAC

Editor - Chicago Journal - LINK

10/1/2008 10:00:00 PM

10th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s murder

JESSICA PUPOVAC/Staff

Demonstrators marched Saturday along Halsted, Belmont and Broadway in honor of the 10th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s murder.

More than 300 demonstrators marched along Halsted, Belmont and Broadway avenues Saturday night to remember Matthew Shepard and call for an end to anti-gay violence and discrimination.

Oct. 5 marks the 10-year anniversary of the night Matthew Shepard was brutally beaten and left to die outside of Laramie, Wyo. Shepard was found comatose and shackled to a fence; he died five days later. He was 21 years old.

Shepard's murder galvanized the LGBT-rights movement and propelled the issue of hate crimes, particularly directed against LGBT people, onto the national agenda.

However, organizers with the Gay Liberation Network, which sponsored the event, say hate speech is still mainstream.

"This senseless violence does not happen in a vacuum," said Wayne Besen, keynote speaker and executive director of Truth Wins Out, a national anti-homophobia organization. "There is a multi-million dollar anti-gay industry that dehumanizes us every day. They pump millions of dollars into making LGBT people appear to be moral monsters and then act surprised when hate crimes occur."

Bensen called upon Chicago's Museum of Broadcast Communications to reverse its decision to induct Focus on the Family's James Dobson into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Dobson is the founder of Love Won Out, a ministry that promises to "cure" homosexuals.

The Gay Liberation Network and Truth Wins Out plan to demonstrate outside of the Renaissance Chicago Hotel, 1 W. Wacker Dr., Saturday, Nov. 8, at 5:30, during his induction.



FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.