Today is the anniversary of the murder of Matthew Shepard.
His life was brutally brought to an end because Russell Arthur and James McKinney claimed temporary insanity due to "gay panic syndrome" while robbing him. Both were found guilty and are serving two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. His death ultimately led to the passage of the Matthew Shepard Act , which redefined hate crimes more broadly to include sexual orientation.
On September 18th,13 year old Jamie Rodemeyer committed suicide after relentless bullying from classmates.
On July 9, 2010 15 year old Justin Aaberg took his life for the same reasons.
These members of the LGBT community, OUR community, paid the ultimate price for just being gay.
They are just a few of many that have paid with their lives. Thousands of others, throughout the years, have paid with broken bones, scars, and lifelong disability. Many more have endured being fired, losing their homes, or being denied their basic human rights because they are gay. Millions have spent their time and treasure supporting repeal of discriminatory anti-gay laws by marching, writing politicians,attending meetings, or writing a check.
What started at the Stonewall Inn in 1969 as a riot against police injustice swiftly grew into a Gay Liberation Movement. THAT WAS OVER 40 YEARS AGO!!!
In that time we have seen the repeal of Blue Laws, establishment of anti-discrimination laws that include provisions for LGBT people, recognition of gay marriage, in some states, the inclusion of "gays" in the definition of hate crimes, anti-discrimination laws in some states, the end of DADT, and many other victories.
These are all small battles in a WAR!!!
Jamie, Justin, and Matthew have still paid with their lives.
Many of us are still paying the price in so many lessor ways, but the cost is still great for just being the way we were born.
Matthew deserves YOU to keep the fight going.
Justin needs YOU to stand up and be involved.
Jamie's death demands that all of us to continue to push the liberation of our people and keep the fight going.
Let your voice be heard...
Stand up for justice and decency...
March in the streets, go to council meeting, write your representatives...
When someone makes a bigoted comment...let him and others know that THEY ARE WRONG!!!
KEEP UP THE FIGHT
DON'T let Matthew, Justin or Jamie's deaths be in vain....
BE A WARRIOR!!!