Chadwick Moore: ‘Matthew Shepard’s Death Wasn’t A Hate Crime’

When Chadwick Moore stirred the waters last year in September by penning the highly controversial Milo Yiannopoulous profile posted in Out Magazine, there was extreme backlash against the magazine as well as Moore.

When I read the original Out Magazine posting of the Milo piece, I was at the time fielding many emails and comments from conservative readers of Instinct Magazine, stating that we should not forget about the conservative/republican LGBTers and their beliefs. We need to not be as harsh on Trump and report both sides equally.  They would quote our own posts where we stated that 20% of the LGBT population identifies as Republican. Of course 80/20 is not equal, but …

Moore is now back in the news with one of his more recent tweets claiming the murder of Mathew Shepard has been “debunked” as a hate crime.  He writes:



and the responses have been interesting (click images for larger view).


Moore’s claims appear to be based on journalist Stephen Jimenez’s much criticized book The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths about the Murder of Matthew Shepard. Jimenez attributes Shepard’s murder to crystal meth; arguing his killers — Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson — were just trying to get Shepard’s drugs.

Other journalists have since written articles debunking Jimenez’s claims, arguing that The Book of Matt is based on bad journalism and rumor.

And regardless of the murder’s motivations, defense attorneys used the “gay panic” defense, arguing that McKinney’s violent actions were triggered by memories of childhood sexual abuse.

We reached out to Moore for a comment on his statement but at this time haven’t heard back.

Did he make the comments for shock value? Is he looking to take the place of the conservative movement’s gay figurehead since the ouster of Yiannopoulos?

Saying offensive things is a pretty good career move for Republicans (as long as you don’t promote man-boy love), but dumping on a murder victim is really low. – unicornbooty


I often get yelled at on occasion on FB and here for responding to comments on my stories and opinion pieces. Should Moore respond to those that find his statement heartless, false, and attention seeking?  Well, he did.  Here is the update from Unicornbooty.


UPDATE, March 8, 1:30 p.m. EST: Below is Moore’s response to our initial inquiry.

The “gay panic” defense was awful and stupid.

I would never want to hurt Judy Shepard or further her unimaginable pain, which I’m sure continues to this day.
Judy has done incredible work for gay rights and gay visibility, and I have the utmost respect and empathy for her.

As I also said on Twitter: “the true story of his life is more tragic and complex, and also too common.”

I understand and appreciate the power and importance that story had in winning over hearts and minds in America for the gay rights cause, and therefore it is a complicated, sticky situation. In this case, did the means of deploying a sanitized narrative justify the ends? Perhaps. (Also look at the Lawrence case in Texas that ended anti-Sodomy laws. Great ends, but those guys weren’t exactly Disney princesses). It is still worth acknowledging, 20 years later, that many very real, very unpleasant aspects of gay life, that continue to this day, may have been present in the Shepard case. And to this day the mainstream gay lobby doesn’t like to acknowledge the elements they find unsavory in our very diverse community, were so many still struggle with drugs and prostitution. I find this ugly, classist, and detrimental to truth and understanding. For the record, I’ve been publicly speaking about this for years, it’s not a recent thing. Only now that the left hates me, this one random tweet, in response to another user, seems to get interest.

I would trust an independent, gay journalist like Jimenez over Media Matters and Think Progress, both which attempted to slander and debunk him because he dared to ask questions. The book raises important questions about the reality of gay life, especially in rural America in the late 90s. Media Matters and Think Progress are irresponsible sources to quote–they make no bones about having highly politicized agendas. The Guardian and many publishers reviewed Jimenez’s book and found his research and arguments to be pretty sound.

What are your thoughts on this? 

Is there a place for the LGBT conservative voice? 

Is Moore doing this for attention?

Is it okay to re-examine occurrences in the past and offer different explanations?

Do you agree with Moore?

Did you read Stephen Jimenez’s book?

h/t: Unicornbooty

4 thoughts on “Chadwick Moore: ‘Matthew Shepard’s Death Wasn’t A Hate Crime’”

  1. I am a former drug uses and

    I am a former drug uses and law breaker…i was in prison with some people who were very close to this case and they said, before anyone else nationally claimed, it was indeed a drug related death. That fact that he was gay wasn't a motivating factor….the fact that he owed a lot of money and refused to pay, threatening to turn certain people in to avoid his debt….that was the motivation, according to what i was told. 

  2. Mr. Moore, 

    Mr. Moore, 

    You're wrong.  You've no evidence, there was no evidence, that Matthew Shepard used meth.  There's no evidence that Matthew ever had sex with those boys.

    Here's the thing though, even if he did, that boy was beaten, and left to freeze to death, tied to barbed wire.  That event struck fear into gay men and boys, especially those living in rural America, and that is why this is a hate crime.  The act instilled fear in not just one, but an entire community.  That contempt for LGBTQ lives, is a systemic across America.  I hope it never touches you, but it is real.  

    If you're going to make a claim, make sure you have that facts, not just those that suit you.

  3. I don’t know if Matt used

    I don't know if Matt used meth or not but I don't care. As far as I'm concerned Matt is a martyr and now he is in heaven with the blessed. His murderers deserve what they got and more.

  4. There have always been, and

    There have always been, and will always be self hating gay men.  This case has been studied for decades.  When Aaron Mckinney tried to lobby for parole based upon his past abuse, and the fact that he was actually bisexual, the court wouldn't hear it.  It is always okay to look backward, otherwise we never learn.  Unfortunately we are living in a era where people get to look backward with their limited understanding, without the ethical constraints of trying to learn and broaden the discussion.  Matt and I were the same age.  I lived through this daily.  I and my friends, living in the south, were terrified to have this huge shining of example of homophobia where the homophobes seemed to get more press time and support than an innocent boy.  Whether he used meth, was drunk, was HIV positive, hit on the men or not, he was still killed because of his difference.  We are Matt.  Yes we need to address drugs, but this isn't  a "gay" problem.  This is a society problem.  Mr Jiminez and Moore obviously need to find someone to give them a hug, so they can feel better about themselves. I think the new occupants at 1600 would be more than willing.


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