Matthew Shepard

Matthew Wayne Shepard (Dec. 1, 1976 – Oct. 12, 1998) was an openly gay student at the University of Wyoming who was tortured and murdered near Laramie, Wyo., in October 1998. He was attacked on the night of October 6–7, and died a few days later at a hospital in Fort Collins, Colo., on October 12 from severe head injuries. During the trial it was widely reported that Shepard was targeted because he was gay. Shepard’s murder brought national and international attention to hate crime legislation at both the state and federal levels. In October 2009, the U.S. Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (Matthew Shepard Act for short), and on Oct. 28, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the legislation into law. [ Wikipedia → ]