Matthew Shepard‘s parents Judy and Dennis Shepard made a brief but very powerful appearance during the virtual Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, August 18.
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) August 19, 2020
The event, which formally made Joe Biden the official Democratic nominee in the upcoming November 3rd election against President Donald Trump, included many incredible speeches from not only Judy & Dennis but also Michelle Obama and others.
“After our son’s death in Wyoming, Joe Biden helped pass the legislation to protect LGBTQ Americans from hate crimes,” Dennis said during the footage.
“Joe understands more than most our grief over Matt’s death,” he added. “We see in Joe so much of what made Matt’s life special — his commitment to equality, his passion for social justice and his boundless compassion for others.”
Judy then cast Wyoming’s delegate votes for Biden moments later.
Matthew, as many know by now, died in a Colorado hospital on October 12, 1998. He passed five days after being beaten and left tied to the fence in the cold weather outside Laramie, Wyoming.
His convicted killers, Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney, are both serving two consecutive life terms. The story behind this was documented in a movie called Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine which came out in 2015.
A lot of good came out of such a tragic situation. Former President Barack Obama signed a federal hate crime prevention act with Matthew’s name 11 years ago that extended existing hate-crimes laws to include gender and sexual orientation.
Dennis and Judy are also the founders of the Matthew Shepard Foundation which started two months after his death. It runs education, outreach and advocacy programs.