Voice for Equality: Judy Shepard

Matthew Wayne Shepard was a student at the University of Wyoming when he was viciously tortured and murdered at the age of twenty-one. He was attacked on the night of October 6, 1998, targeted because he was openly gay. In the wake of her son’s tragic death, Judy Shepard created the Matthew Shepard Foundation. With the mission of “..replacing hate with understanding, compassion and acceptance,” the Matthew Shepard Foundation works to promote educational outreach and advocacy programming. Most recently, the Foundation has lent its support to legislation and ballot initiatives promoting the freedom to marry for gay couples.

While addressing a group of students at the University of Cincinnati on May 5, 2009, Shepard publicly voiced her support for the freedom to marry. Shepard aded that the only thing jeopardizing marriage is that more and more unions are ending in divorce. Meanwhile, Massachusetts, the first state to end gay couples' exclusion from marriage, has the lowest divorce rate in the country.

Thanks to Chaya for the nomination!

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