Eleven years ago Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered because he was gay. The utter brutality and senselessness of the crime was shocking enough, but the fact that there was still a bill floating around the House, and the majority of Republicans voted against it, and spoke loudly against. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) referred to the hate crimes bill, as a “social attack on what used to be the morals of America.” To make a statement such as this about a bill for protection of young people from the morality that used to [and in some areas still does] encourage the abuse, battering, and sometimes death of individuals simply because they are different is nothing the founders of this country had in mind. This country was founded by people escaping persecution, and a revolution was based on wanting representation in the government. Why so many in the Congress and Senate believe they don't represent me or people like me is astounding.
One of my favorite singer/songwriters wrote a song about his own feelings on the subject of Matthew, and I thought I would share it here. This is Garrin Benfield singing What You're Hiding, recorded Saturday in Pawling, NY, by a fan. The song never fails to give me pause.
Matthew, may you rest in peace, and continue to be remembered.