Dennis and Judy Shepard appeared on MSNBC over the weekend ahead of the anniversary of their son Matthew‘s tragic death which took place 22 years ago today.
Judy did not mince her words when it came to SCOTUS pick Amy Coney Barrett, a catholic judge who has a history of anti-gay behavior.
“Parent to parent, mom to mom, I would say, Amy, if your child comes out as gay, I hope you understand that that’s who they are. It’s not a choice. It’s nothing you did. It’s just who they are,” Judy said in response to a question over what she would tell Amy if given a chance.
“People are people, and I would hate to think that you would reject one of your children because they happen to be gay,” she added. “We’re all humans trying to fight for the same things, which is acceptance and a good life and safety in our workplace and in our homes. I hope that she would recognize that as a human being.”
Judy, who has been a noted gay rights activist in the years since her son’s killing, also expressed initial fear after President Donald Trump revealed that Amy was his SCOTUS choice. “If we have a court that is so set on not helping marginalized communities achieve equality, I think we’re all in trouble,” she said.
Matthew Shepard died on October 12, 1998, six days after he was beaten, tortured and left to die near Laramie, Wyoming. The two suspects (Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson) were eventually convicted to two life sentences over what is considered to be one of the biggest anti-gay crimes in history.
Amy, meanwhile, has spoken openly about her anti-gay views in the past. She has previously expressed that marriage should be between a man and a woman.
In 2015 she signed a letter to the Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family declaring her support for “the Church’s teachings… on the meaning of human sexuality, the significance of sexual difference and the complentarity of men and women; on openness to life… and on marriage and family founded on the indissoluble commitment of a man and a woman.”