Breaking my birthday hiatus to let you all know that on October 12th there will be a National Reading of the Laramie Project: Ten Years Later. There will also be a showing of The Laramie Project Movie at most places that will include a new epilogue containing new footage from Matthew's Parents.
For more information and to find your local showing check out the information here
If you have no idea what this about then please educate yourself. Here is Matthew's Full Wikipedia Page.
Here is the intro portion of the article.
Matthew Wayne Shepard (December 1, 1976 – October 12, 1998) was a student at the University of Wyoming who was tortured and subsequently murdered near Laramie, Wyoming. He was attacked on the night of October 6–7, 1998 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 gay. Shepard's murder brought national, as well as international, attention to the issue of hate crime legislation at the state and federal levels.
Russell Arthur Henderson pleaded guilty to felony murder and kidnapping, allowing him to avoid the death penalty. Aaron James McKinney was convicted of felony murder and kidnapping. Henderson is currently serving two consecutive life sentences and McKinney is serving the same but without the possibility of parole.
On a personal level/note: I live in a very small town in the south. In 9th grade I did a story on what I thought was the most moving event in recent history. I did the story of Matthew's life and how unfortunate it was what happened to him. But on the plus side it did bring about the start of equal rights for gays in America. As a result of my support of gay people I was punished in school (sent to the principles off gave a stern talking too and given an F on the paper.) Not to mention the endless tormenting I got from other classmates for support "those queers". But it was worth it in my opinion because every person regardless of religious belief or sexuality I believe that all people are entitled to equal and humane rights. And I stand my belief of that statement and if you don't think so then please direct yourself to the nearest cliff and jump.