People For the American Way

Matthew Shepard calls upon us to Imagine

Fifteen years ago today, on October 7, 1998, Aaron Kreifels found Matthew Shepard clinging to life in a field outside Laramie, Wyoming. Unfortunately, Shepard lost that battle five days later. What resulted was a rallying cry for the LGBT equality movement. It’s a movement that has indeed seen tremendous progress. 2009: The Shepard-Byrd hate crimes law passes. 2010: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is repealed. 2011: The military begins to implement a new culture of inclusion. 2012: The Supreme Court accepts two marriage cases. 2013: DOMA and Prop 8 rulings significantly advance marriage equality. But it’s also a movement that has more to achieve. So not only do we remember Matthew Shepard this week, but we pledge anew to honor his unfilled potential and how his silenced voice – how all those silenced by hate – calls upon us to Imagine.

Think. Share. Act.


Aaron Kreifels, ADL, Anne Frank, Anti-Defamation League, California, Daniel Pearl, Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Harvey Milk, hate, Hate Crimes, James Byrd Jr., John Lennon, LGBT equality, marriage equality, Matthew Shepard, Norman Lear, Prop 8, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Yitzhak Rabin