Dennis Shepard Urges Action on Hate Crimes

August 4, 2007 at 12:09 pm 3 comments

UPDATE: The opinion piece from Dennis Shepard quoted in this post originally appeared on Bilerico Project the week before the Senate was scheduled to consider the federal hate crimes bill. Not the Advocate.com as I wrote in this post. You can read Dennis’ post here.

Dennis Shepard, the father of Matthew Shepard is doing something we have not seen Dick and Lynne Cheney do. He is standing up for his gay child and other LGBT Americans. Matthew, you will remember, was beaten because he was gay and left to die nine years in in Wyoming. The Cheneys have a lesbian daughter Mary, yet they have not lifted a finger to pass civil rights protections for LGBT people and has courted a political base that seeks to do Mary and other LGBT people harm.

Dennis and his wife Judy have been actually engaged in the LGBT movement for many years. They have not reacted with anger or shame when asked about their gay child. Nor did they sit silently by while religious and political extremists tried to hurt LGBT people.

Here is an excerpt from an opinion piece by Dennis published on Bilerico Project.

I choose to act because I was, and still am, very proud of my son—of who he was and the struggles he had to overcome to become that man. I choose to act because I never want another LGBT American to go through the fear, the pain, the violence, or the loneliness that Matthew went through on that horrible night. I choose to act because I never want another parent to go through what we went through—the grief, the giant hole in the heart, the bedside vigil, or the realization that holidays, family vacations, and the normal, dull routine of work, home, and life will never, ever be the same.

All of us—gay and straight alike–need to act. Hate affects each and every one of us. It knows no limits, follows no clear set of rules, and has infiltrated our society’s most basic institutions. For that reason, I am humbled that the United States House of Representatives has chosen to act, and to do so in Matt’s memory, and the United States Senate is poised to follow. They are now taking the first giant steps in making the Matthew Shepard Act the law of our land.

Read the full piece here.

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Entry filed under: Advocacy, Conservatives, Dick Cheney, Family, Hate Crimes, LGBT, Politics, Republicans.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Bil Browning  |  August 4, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    I saw this over here and had to come investigate. This is not “An Advocate.com exclusive” Their post says it was posted July 27, 2007. We ran this article as a guest post by Dennis Shepard on July 14th. I’ve seen it pop up elsewhere too as an “exclusive.” And it was. Ours.

    http://www.bilerico.com/2007/07/a_fathers_appeal_choose_to_act_1.php

    Reply
  • 2. Bloggernista  |  August 5, 2007 at 9:03 am

    Bil, thanks for the correction. I have updated the post to give credit to Bilerico.

    Reply
  • 3. Bil Browning  |  August 5, 2007 at 10:29 am

    Thanks Michael. I’ve got a post set to go up Monday morning about this. 🙂 And the Advocate wonders why they’re not making it any longer? Talk about always being a few weeks behind on the news, eh?

    Reply

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