Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis votes against Matthew Shepard Act

Matthew Shepard, the Casper native who was murdered in 1998 in Laramie

Today, the U.S. House overwhelmingly passed the the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, also known as the Matthew Shepard Act.

Matthew Shepard's mother Judy Shepard, a Casper resident, responded to the decision saying, "No one should face violence simply because of who they are. This bill is a critical step to erasing the hate that has devastated far too many families."

U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), vice chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus and co-sponsor of the measure, said: “Every hate crime is an attack on the liberty and equality valued by every American. This legislation will provide state and local law enforcement agencies with resources they need to investigate and prosecute hate crimes, while also protecting the exercise of free speech and religious expression provided under our Constitution.”

Matthew Shepard, oldest son of Dennis Shepard and Judy Shepard, was born in Casper on December 1, 1976. He attended Crest Hill Elementary, Dean Morgan Junior High, and the first two years of high school at Natrona Co. H.S., Dick and Lynne Cheney's alma mater. He was a member of St. Mark's Episcopal Church.

On the cold night of Oct. 6, 1998, he was followed when leaving a gay bar, beaten up, tied to a fence and left for dead. The girlfriends of the two young men arrested testified that they had targeted Shepherd because he was gay.

Wyoming's lone representative in the U.S. House, Cynthia Lummis, is from Cheyenne and graduated from the University of Wyoming, the same school attended by Matthew Shepard. Today, she joined her Know-Nothing colleagues (a.k.a. Republicans) in the House and voted against the Matthew Shepard Act.

Shame on you, Cynthia Lummis. Shame.

You're no better than Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) who spoke against the House legislation by saying that the story that Matthew was murdered because he was gay is a "hoax" played on the American people. This "hoax" idea is a popular theme on wingnut blogs.

Those must be the blogs that Rep. Lummis reads.

No comments: