LGBTQ+ people ‘still being denied basic rights’, says mother of Matthew Shepard

Graham Robson October 20, 2023

The mother of Matthew Shepard, an American gay man who was murdered 25 years ago, said LGBTQ+ people in the United States are “still being denied basic rights”.

“They’re still being denied basic rights, the community is, and the absolute outward showing of hate again, it’s just infuriating to me,” Judy Shepard said in an interview on the Today show.

Judy Shepard also criticised recent anti-LGBTQ measures across the United States. She said: “They know they’ve lost the war, but this battle is just the last, most vicious attack on the community … It’s already over.

“That’s what they don’t understand. They’re fighting a losing battle.”

Matthew Shepard was a 21-year-old University of Wyoming student whose brutal attack in 1998 captured the attention of the world and sparked conversations about gay rights.

An FBI report released this month in the US found that anti-LGBTQ hate crimes rose by more than 19% in 2022 compared to 2021. In England and Wales, data released by Office of National Statistics on October 5 showed hate crimes against trans people rose by 11% in a year, and by 186% in the last five years. Hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation were up 112% in the last five years, despite a 6% decrease this year.