Via press release from the White House:
Twenty-five years ago today, Matthew Shepard lost his life to a brutal act of hate and violence that shocked our nation and the world. The week prior, Matthew had been viciously attacked in a horrific anti-gay hate crime and left to die – simply for being himself.
Matthew’s tragic and senseless murder shook the conscience of the American people. And his courageous parents, Judy and Dennis Shepard, turned Matthew’s memory into a movement, galvanizing millions of people to combat the scourge of anti-LGBTQI+ hate and violence in America.
As Vice President, I had the honor of helping to enact the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which extended federal hate crimes laws to cover sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability.
This legislation is a lasting tribute to Matthew, a testament to the relentless advocacy of Judy and Dennis, and an important step forward for our country.
I was proud to honor Judy and Dennis as Uniters – Americans who stand against hate and heal our divides – at the United We Stand Summit here at the White House last year. Our charge is to continue the fight against hate, against violence, and against bigotry in all its forms.
Today, as threats and violence targeting the LGBTQI+ community continue to rise, our work is far from finished.
No American should face hate or violence for who they are or who they love. I once again call on Congress to send the Equality Act to my desk so that we can ensure LGBTQI+ Americans have full civil rights protections under our laws – because every American is worthy of dignity, acceptance, and respect.
God bless Judy, Dennis, and all those who are grieving and remembering Matthew today.
The Equality Act has been introduced in the last four Congresses, passing in the House in the last two attempts, but never in the Senate.
Statement from President Joe Biden on the 25th Anniversary of the Tragic Death of Matthew Shepard
— White House Office of Public Engagement (@WhiteHouseOPE46) October 12, 2023
Today, we honor the memory of Matthew Shepard, a young man whose life was tragically taken in a senseless act of hate.
— Southern Poverty Law Center (@splcenter) October 12, 2023
25 years ago, Matthew Shepard was the victim of an anti-LGBTQ+ hate crime.
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) October 12, 2023
Commemorating 25 Years of the Matthew Shepard Foundation pic.twitter.com/hJqpqxHdt0
— Matthew Shepard Foundation (@MattShepardFDN) October 12, 2023