Matthew Shepard won’t celebrate his 40th birthday on December 1, 2016. He hasn’t celebrated his birthday for 18 years.
Cause of death: Homicide
On October 6, 1998, Matthew, 21, was lured from a bar in Laramie, WY. He thought he was getting a ride home. Instead, he was driven to a rural area where he was beaten, tortured, tied to a fence, and left to die. A cyclist discovered him 18 hours later. What he thought was a scarecrow, was Matthew in a coma.
Matthew died on October 12, 1998, the way no human should. He passed away laying in a hospital bed in Fort Collins, CO.
Matthew was murdered because he was gay. Aaron McKinney, 22, and Russell Henderson, 21, are serving life terms. They deserve it.
What they didn’t deserve was growing up in a country whose government politicizes civil rights by planting deep seeds of discrimination and hate toward fellow Americans who are diverse in different ways.
Two administrations later, we spend money faster than technology evolves. Yet, our politics traveled back in time.
Both parties are guilty. The LGBT was ignored by one and attacked by the other. At least attacking acknowledges existence. Without the attacks, would we still be ignored? But, President Obama pushed a lot harder and made a little more progress.
I get it, it’s a process. A slow, slow process.
The Great American Hypocrisy: All lives will never matter.
As long as civil rights are politicized, America will remain a nation of enemies. Fear leads to discrimination. Discrimination leads to hate and so on.
Political parties don’t solve civil rights issues, they create them. Civil rights are platform poison.
To all the do nothing politicians.
Civil rights are constitutional and belong in the judicial system. Civil rights aren’t for you to repeal if you disagree with the outcome.
There are countless combinations of the civil rights menu and we have two options?
How many more sessions will you challenge Roe v. Wade? How much money do you have access to? Now you want to repeal gay marriage? Deny hospital visits to my partner…my family? You want to spend money on conversion therapy? Oh, now I can be fired?
Talk about setting a precedent – which is exactly why civil rights should not be political.
Being gay isn’t a choice! You know what is a choice? Taking bribes. Adultry. Lying. Living your life in the closet. Homophobia. Religion. Ruining your family. Ruining my family.
Go convert yourself.
Tell you what, fix our schools. Fix healthcare. Fix wages. Enable parents to be parents. Give Americans a real chance. Quit preaching fiscal responsibility while killing your citizens and flooding the world (and your basements) with taxpayer money.
I’ll tell you what we’re all.
We’re all sick of your bullshit politics.
And stop accepting bribes. Dig deep and find your merits – run on those. Actually do something for the people.
The establishments are in stalemate.
It’s simple. Either we’re all created equal or we’re not. Which is it? At least answer that. I know what you’re going to say. We all…what? Matter? Are equal? What? Spit it out.
You keep wasting our time and money playing tug o’ war with civil rights. If you want to argue civil rights, practice law. Otherwise, be the legislative, public-serving representative you signed up to be.
It wasn’t until 2009 when Congress passed The Matthew Shepard Act which President Obama signed into law. Matthew’s gruesome murder would finally be considered a hate crime. It took 11 years.
The Gone Old Parties
The 2016 GOP Platform is nothing short of horrifying. If you haven’t seen it for yourself, it’s right here.
There are no parties. The choice is conscience. Next month is not the time to leave America’s future to chance. Next time there will be more options.
Let’s land the plane, refuel, and continue the work that needs to be done.
A Note to Matthew
Matt, I was 24 when the world learned what happened to you. Your life inspired and motivated LGBT movements across the planet.
If you were born the day you died, you’d be casting your first vote in a historic election in November when the U.S. elects its next President.
Your sacrifice brought awareness of a hatred that makes anyone a vulnerable target.
We won’t let you down. Not anymore. We’ve evolved. We continue to evolve, albeit slowly.