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12 years ago tonight Matthew Shepard was attacked and left hanging on a fence to die

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FreeState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 04:23 PM
Original message
12 years ago tonight Matthew Shepard was attacked and left hanging on a fence to die
RIP Matthew - you changed the world. I wish you where here to see how much better its gotten and how far we still have to go. We will never forget you.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Shepard

Matthew Wayne Shepard (December 1, 1976 October 12, 1998) was a 21-year-old student at the University of Wyoming who was tortured and murdered near Laramie, Wyoming, in October 1998. He was attacked on the night of October 67, and died at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, on October 12 from severe head injuries.

During the trial, witnesses stated that Shepard was targeted because he was homosexual. Shepard's murder brought national and international attention to the issue of hate crime legislation at the state and federal levels.


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truebrit71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. ..and 12 years later the story seems just as shocking...
...what evil must be in your heart to have that much hatred for a fellow human being...??
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. Seems like yesterday. Nt
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Yes, it does.
Edited on Wed Oct-06-10 04:30 PM by GreenPartyVoter
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
3. I was thinking of him today when I heard an NPR show on whether the Rutgers students
should be charged with manslaughter in the death of the gay student. Matt's murder was so horrific...utter cruelty...I can only wonder how the Rutgers students can live with themselves, knowing what they did to that young man...
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
4. Kick
:grouphug:
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handmade34 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 04:32 PM
Response to Original message
6. I still weep
last night I spent some time on this site... and still we must fight the discrimination

http://www.youtube.com/itgetsbetterproject#p/f/0/7IcVyv...

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Cronus Protagonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. Thanks for that - I "liked" it and posted it to my FB wall
...with a request that everyone I know do the same..... we need to reach as many young folk as possible with this message.
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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #6
38. i've been riveted to that site
since friday. and i am so heartened by the happy stories and still dismayed and shocked at how bad it is in the middle schools and high schools especially - the teachers and administrators who don't do anything about it. jeez. just so much gratuitous suffering.

i am really inspired though. i realize now more than ever (i thought i already knew this) that the LGBTQ community is maybe the last to have inequality and discrimination against them institutionalized - a perfect example of the tyranny of the majority. this must end.
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 04:32 PM
Response to Original message
7. K & R for Matthew.......
..... and shockingly, there's still a debate over the need for hate crime laws.


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Behind the Aegis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 04:35 PM
Response to Original message
8. Video: set to "Scarecrow" by Melissa Etheridge
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FreeState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #8
19. Thanks for posting that
I lost a little respect for Melissa over the Rick Warren deal - but her music, particularly this song, still moves me to tears.
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ThomCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #8
47. +1
Exactly what needs to be posted. :(
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Demoiselle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 04:38 PM
Response to Original message
9. What a sweet face he had.
Thank you for reminding me. I'll never forget the horror...but I didn't remember it happened today.
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Danger Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 04:38 PM
Response to Original message
10. Kick and recommended. We must never forget that hatred of gays is very real...
very toxic, and very deadly. We have a long way to go.
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cbayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 04:44 PM
Response to Original message
11. A dark, dark day and it still saddens me immensely. A tearful K & R. nt.
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Terra Alta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 05:08 PM
Response to Original message
12. it's been 12 years, and yet
we have gay teens committing suicide because people won't accept them for who they are.. yes we have come far in the past 12 years but not far enough.. I long for the day when LGBT people will be accepted for who they are and not rejected, killed, or driven to suicide.. may Matthew rest in peace...
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
13. Peter Paul and Mary recorded the powerful "Jesus Is On The Wire" about his murder
It's on their CD "In These Times." I wanted to post a link, but have now spent an inordinate amount of time trying to find it online, after very rapidly finding the version below.

More songs, collected here. This is an amazing compendium -- Matthew's death affected more people that he could ever know.
http://www.queermusicheritage.us/matthew.html

Songwriter Thea Howard, singing
http://www.queermusicheritage.us/MATTHEW/MP3S/HOPKINS.M...

PETER, PAUL AND MARY
Jesus Is On The Wire

(Thea Hopkins)
Run down church
Red clay
River covered
In a smoky haze
Sunday morning
The fire is out
Sunday morning
No one about
The earth is soft
This time of year
Boots get caked
From there to here
Down the road
Route 25
They found this boy
He was barely alive
Jesus is on the wire
So far away, higher and higher
Jesus is on the wire
They took him down
Off the fence
Cold as ice
Almost dead
They said that he
That he slept with guys
They said that he
Deserved to die
Jesus is on the wire
So far away, higher and higher
Jesus is on the wire
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 05:33 PM
Response to Original message
14. It's still as shocking today - makes me weep. n/t
.
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foxfeet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
16. K&R
:cry: :grouphug:
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uncommon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
17. RIP Matthew
I hope there is more peace in death for him than there was in life.
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TwilightGardener Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 06:40 PM
Response to Original message
18. All these years later, still a sick, shocking crime.
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phasma ex machina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 07:52 PM
Response to Original message
20. R.I.P. (Seems like a lifetime ago to me.) nt
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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 07:54 PM
Response to Original message
21. I remember when I heard the news on TV

Very sad day. It did start several hate laws around the US.

K&R!

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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
22. vibes.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 10:41 PM
Response to Original message
23. He would be 32 today.
:(
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FreeState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-06-10 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Way too young
There are so many countless young men and women we've lost.
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reggie the dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 08:09 AM
Response to Reply #23
27. 33
he was born one day after my wife.... he should be at the age where if he were a bit lucky he would have a husband and an adopted child...
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YOY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #23
28. 34
n/t
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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 05:24 AM
Response to Original message
25. K & R
:thumbsup:
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reggie the dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 08:07 AM
Response to Original message
26. I was in my second year at the university when this happened
some of the gay students on campus at UIC in chicago became even more open and militant, including someone i played hacky sack with who convinced me that gay rights was a FREEDOM thing and as i was an anarchist libertarian and the time i was convinced when he called me a hyppocryte for calling for drug legalization as a freedom issue but not supporting gay marriage and gay rights, from that day on i fully supported FULL EQUALITY between gay and hetero people.
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
29. k & r
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lukasahero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
30. RIP Matthew
You did, indeed, change the world.
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Fearless Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #30
41. +1
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Mad_Dem_X Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
31. K&R - We will never forget you, Matthew!
:cry:
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Rhythm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 09:11 AM
Response to Original message
32. Twelve years later, are things really any better?
Since 1998, there are a handful of states where gays and lesbians can get married, and a few more where they can't be openly discriminated against by government entities. But are things really all that different from what they were when those bastards tied Matthew to that fence in Wyoming?

There are still:

GLBT teens bullied, sometimes to suicide... every day somewhere.
NINE made the news just in the passed month.

Gay bashings... every day somewhere.
Even at the Stonewall Inn just a few days ago.

Murders... often defended in court with the 'he looked at me funny' defense
Here's just a few more recent, but i could go on for a while:
Jason Mattison, Maryland 2009
Matther Cox, Nevada 2008
Ryan Skipper, Florida 2009
Lateisha Green, New York 2009

Attacks for simply 'appearing to be gay'
Jos Sucuzhaay, murdered in NYC in 2008; killed as he and his brother staggered home arm-in-arm from a Bronx bar. Their attackers thought they were a gay couple, and beat them with baseball bats.




RIP Matthew, and all others taken away from us by hatred and bigotry.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
33. I'll never forgive Elizabeth Vargas for doing a revisionist segment on 20/20
with regard to his killing - she seemed to be implying that it was a drug deal gone bad, or something, NOT a hate crime. Anyone else remember that?
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ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
34. A wrenching time for many of us.
The despicable, jaw dropping, homophobic hit piece by Elisabeth Vargas on ABC's 20/20 blaming the victim; "not a hate crime" said she; treating the murderers like; oh well, just two good kids gone wrong, hopped up on drugs; a robbery gone wrong; the unspoken undercurrent; that Mathew deserved what he got.

That too we must never forget.

RIP Mathew; we will never forget those who so murderously destroyed your life, or the hate feeders who tried to rewrite that truth and the history of what happened that day.

In spite of these

Your memory is writ large in song and art.
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
35. Edited for more information
Edited on Thu Oct-07-10 11:44 AM by KansDem
Found this information while Googling:

Russell Arthur HendersonNews about Russell Arthur Henderson, including commentary and archival articles published in The New York Times.ARTICLES ABOUT RUSSELL ARTHUR HENDERSON
Newest First | Oldest First
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | Next >>
ABC News Revisits Student's Killing, and Angers Some Gays
By FELICIA R. LEE
Report on 20/20 TV program about 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, which focused national attention on violence against gays, has ignited indignation among gay rights advocates even before its broadcast; program includes interviews with confessed killers Aaron J McKinney and Russell A Henderson, who are serving life sentences; they say killing was robbery gone bad, not hate crime
"Robbery gone bad!" Yeah, sure. Robberies are often committed while beating a man's head in, burning him, and tying him up on a fence

November 26, 2004
MORE ON RUSSELL ARTHUR HENDERSON AND: ROBBERIES AND THEFTS, MURDERS AND ATTEMPTED MURDERS, TELEVISION, HATE CRIMES, HOMOSEXUALITY, LARAMIE (WYO), MCKINNEY, AARON J, SHEPARD, MATTHEW, HENDERSON, RUSSELL A Appeal of Conviction In Gay Man's Death
Russell Henderson, who is serving two life sentences for his role in 1999 Laramie, Wyo, kidnapping and murder of gay student Matthew Shepard, appeals conviction, holding public defender failed to tell him of rights he would lose and those he would keep if he pleaded guilty

June 14, 2004
MORE ON RUSSELL ARTHUR HENDERSON AND: MURDERS AND ATTEMPTED MURDERS, KIDNAPPING, HATE CRIMES, HOMOSEXUALITY, WYOMING, LARAMIE (WYO), HENDERSON, RUSSELL, SHEPARD, MATTHEW Man Is Convicted in Killing of Gay Student
By MICHAEL JANOFSKY
Laramie, Wyo, jury convicts Aaron James McKinney of second-degree murder, robbery and kidnapping of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard in 1998; verdict comes after 10 hours of deliberations; sentencing phase of trial will begin within day; McKinney faces possible death penalty; conviction of co-defendant Russell A Henderson to life in prison without parole noted; murder of Shepard recalled; photo

November 4, 1999
MORE ON RUSSELL ARTHUR HENDERSON AND: ROBBERIES AND THEFTS, PROBATION AND PAROLE, MURDERS AND ATTEMPTED MURDERS, CAPITAL PUNISHMENT, SENTENCES (CRIMINAL), BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION, KIDNAPPING, HATE CRIMES, DECISIONS AND VERDICTS, HOMOSEXUALITY, WYOMING, UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING, MCKINNEY, AARON JAMES, SHEPARD, MATTHEW A Defense To Avoid Execution
By MICHAEL JANOFSKY
Trial of Aaron J McKinney, accused of killing gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard in 1998, begins in Laramie, Wyoming; defense tells jury McKinney killed Shepard in 'five-minute emotional rage' after Shepard made sexual advances that reminded him of homosexual abuse he suffered as child; prosecution argues that McKinney and friend, Russell Henderson, fully intended to murder Shepard after kidnapping him and robbing him of $20; Henderson pleaded guilty to avoid death penalty; is se...

October 26, 1999
MORE ON RUSSELL ARTHUR HENDERSON AND: ROBBERIES AND THEFTS, PROBATION AND PAROLE, MURDERS AND ATTEMPTED MURDERS, SENTENCES (CRIMINAL), CAPITAL PUNISHMENT, KIDNAPPING, HATE CRIMES, HOMOSEXUALITY, WYOMING, HENDERSON, RUSSELL, MCKINNEY, AARON JAMES, SHEPARD, MATTHEW A Year After a Gay Man's Killing, Laramie Braces for a Second Trial
By MICHAEL JANOFSKY
Laramie, Wyo, braces for trial of Aaron James McKinney, second defendant charged in 1998 murder of 21-year-old Matthew Shepard, who was beaten, tied to fence and left to die, apparently because he was gay; testimony is expected to provide detailed account of events leading to Shepard's death; co-defendant, Russell A Henderson, pleaded guilty and is serving two consecutive life terms; photo

October 11, 1999
MORE ON RUSSELL ARTHUR HENDERSON AND: MURDERS AND ATTEMPTED MURDERS, SENTENCES (CRIMINAL), HATE CRIMES, HOMOSEXUALITY, WYOMING, LARAMIE (WYO), UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING, MCKINNEY, AARON JAMES, SHEPARD, MATTHEW National News Briefs; Plea of Not Guilty In Wyoming Slaying
Dennis Leroy Menefee Jr pleads not guilty to charges that he killed Cindy Lee Dixon, mother of Russell Henderson, who is serving two life sentences for murder of gay college student, Matthew Shepard; Menefee is accused of picking up Dixon, sexually assaulting her and then kicking her out of his vehicle on bitter winter night; Dixon died of hypothermia; her body was found on rural road near Laramie, Wyo, on Jan 3

May 30, 1999
MORE ON RUSSELL ARTHUR HENDERSON AND: MURDERS AND ATTEMPTED MURDERS, SEX CRIMES, HOMOSEXUALITY, LARAMIE (WYO), HENDERSON, RUSSELL, DIXON, CINDY LEE, SHEPARD, MATTHEW, MENEFEE, DENNIS L JR In Criminal Law, Motive Does Matter; Punish the Thought?
Bob Weir letter supports April 6 editorial approving of two life sentences given to Russell A Henderson for murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard; opposes special laws that would protect select classification of victims

April 8, 1999
MORE ON RUSSELL ARTHUR HENDERSON AND: MURDERS AND ATTEMPTED MURDERS, SENTENCES (CRIMINAL), LAW AND LEGISLATION, HOMOSEXUALITY, SHEPARD, MATTHEW, WEIR, BOB Gay Murder Trial Ends With Guilty Plea
By JAMES BROOKE
Russell Henderson pleads guilty to kidnapping and murdering Matthew Shepard, gay college student, in Laramie, Wyo; Federal District Judge Jeffrey A Donnell sentences Henderson to two consecutive life sentences; Henderson, escaping possible death penalty, says Aaron J McKinney was mastermind of Oct 6 kidnapping of Shepard; photos

April 6, 1999
MORE ON RUSSELL ARTHUR HENDERSON AND: MURDERS AND ATTEMPTED MURDERS, PLEA BARGAINING, SENTENCES (CRIMINAL), CAPITAL PUNISHMENT, KIDNAPPING, HATE CRIMES, HOMOSEXUALITY, LARAMIE (WYO), UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING, DONNELL, JEFFREY A, HENDERSON, RUSSELL, MCKINNEY, AARON JAMES, SHEPARD, MATTHEW A Stiff and Proper Sentence
Editorial contends that Russell Henderson's decision to plead guilty to kidnapping and murder of Matthew Shepard provides an appropriately severe sentence for one whose apparent anti-gay hatred led him to destroy young life; maintains that sentence of two consecutive life terms makes it virtually certain he will spend rest of his life in prison; criticizes Wyoming legislature for killing effort to pass state's first hate-crimes bill; holds that state and national officials must still show leade...

April 6, 1999
MORE ON RUSSELL ARTHUR HENDERSON AND: MURDERS AND ATTEMPTED MURDERS, PLEA BARGAINING, EDITORIALS, SENTENCES (CRIMINAL), KIDNAPPING, LAW AND LEGISLATION, HATE CRIMES, HOMOSEXUALITY, WYOMING, LARAMIE (WYO), UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING, HENDERSON, RUSSELL, SHEPARD, MATTHEW Wyoming City Braces For Gay Murder Trial
By JAMES BROOKE
wyoming city braces for g

April 4, 1999
MORE ON RUSSELL ARTHUR HENDERSON AND: MURDERS AND ATTEMPTED MURDERS, TELEVISION, RADIO, DEMONSTRATIONS AND RIOTS, HOMOSEXUALITY, WYOMING, LARAMIE (WYO), DONNELL, JEFFREY A, SHEPARD, MATTHEW


http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/...
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
36. And to this day there are still those that defend the murderers
Sometimes it feels like trying to run through quicksand
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barbtries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
37. and all i can do is
:cry:

http://www.youtube.com/user/itgetsbetterproject

has to stop. RIP Matthew, you will not be forgotten
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texastoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
39. RIP, Matthew
We must never give up the fight for ALL people to be able to live in peace. The culture that created the murdering monsters MUST change.

I'll never forget this.

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.flameout...
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lightningandsnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
40. RIP, Matthew.
:cry:
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tpsbmam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
42. The Laramie Project was just on HBO
I hesitated to record it and watch it again just because it's so painful to watch & read about Matthew Shepard, and images of him just crush me. I've seen Laramie Project but not for many years, so I decided to record it and watch it tonight. And let the tears flow for Matthew & all who must face this kind of hatred & bigotry. Thanks for the great post. :cry:

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mnhtnbb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. I first saw The Laramie Project performed some years ago--not long after
our oldest son came out to us (in 2002 when he was in 10th grade).

It is a heart wrenching piece of theater. It pains me beyond belief that there is such
hatred, such bigotry, such evil amongst us. And it is an ever present fear, as a mom, even
though my son is now 24, that somehow he could be in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and
run into such evil.

My heart goes out to the parents of children who have suffered and died at the hands of such
evil.
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BlueIris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
44. RIP, Matt. nt
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mstinamotorcity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
45. Thank You
Matthew's Family for your son.Plain and Simple. :loveya: :loveya: :loveya:
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Evasporque Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 02:22 PM
Response to Original message
46. tears....
horror...

and here we are with more needless death of innocent youth.

when will this nation find sanity?
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 03:17 PM
Response to Original message
48. K&R
The perpetrators probably imagine themselves to be Christians.
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fishwax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 03:35 PM
Response to Original message
49. k/r for Matthew Shepard
RIP
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Little Star Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-07-10 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
50. RIP Matthew. We will never forget!
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