Several days before the 11th anniversary of the murder of Matthew Shepard, the US House of Representatives has voted to expand the definition of hate crimes to include crimes committed against gay men and lesbians.
The new measure, The Times reported this morning, was approved by the House right before a weekend when gay rights will be a focus in Washington, with a march to the Capitol and a speech by President Obama to the Human Rights Campaign.
10 years ago, a bunch of New York theater folk went to Laramie, Wyoming to talk to the people about the death of Matthew Shepard.
“The Laramie Project,” Moises Kaufman and Tectonic Theater Project’s documentary drama, was the result of 200 interviews with Laramie residents in the year that followed the murder. In 1998, Matthew Shepard, the 97 pound, 21-year-old gay college student was beaten and tied to a buck-rail fence and left to die.