Republican Congresswoman Virginia Foxx says Matthew Shepard's murder was "a hoax"
by John Aravosis
The House Republican chosen to lead the charge against including women, people with disabilities, and gays in America's already-existing hate crimes law - existing law already counts violent crime based on the race, religion or national origin of the victim as a "hate crime" - just referred on the US House floor to Matthew Shepard's murder as "a hoax."
You will recall that Matthew Shepard was the young gay man in Laramie, Wyoming who, a decade ago, was tied to a fence, Jesus-like, pistol whipped in the head some 50 times, then left for dead in the cold fall night, only to be found a day later clinging to life. Shepard died five days later. Even though Shepard's murderers admitted that they killed him because he was gay, the far-right bigots who control the Republican party couldn't resist the opportunity to gay-bash Shepard one last time. Now by referring to his brutal murder as a hoax.
Here is what North Carolina Republican [Congresswoman Foxx] had to say about Shepard's horrific murder:
If you didn't vote for this bill -- against this bill and against this rule for anything else, you could vote against it because we are spending additional money. I also would like to point out that there was a bill -- the hate crimes bill that's called the Matthew Shepard bill is named after a very unfortunate incident that happened where a young man was killed, but we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn't because he was gay. This -- the bill was named for him, hate crimes bill was named for him, but it's really a hoax that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills.
Now read what really happened:
During the trial, Chastity Pasley and Kristen Price (the pair's then-girlfriends) testified under oath that Henderson and McKinney both plotted beforehand to rob a gay man. McKinney and Henderson then went to the Fireside Lounge and selected Shepard as their target. McKinney alleged that Shepard asked them for a ride home. After befriending him, they took him to a remote area of Laramie where they robbed him, beat him severely (media reports often contained the graphic account of the pistol whipping and his smashed skull), and tied him to a fence with a rope from McKinney's truck. Shepard begged for his life. Both girlfriends also testified that neither McKinney nor Henderson was under the influence of drugs at the time. The beating was so severe that the only areas on Shepard's face that were not covered in blood were those where his tears had washed the blood stains away.
Media Matters has lots of links, and quotes, from the mainstream media attesting to the fact that Shepard was murdered because he was gay.
A hoax? Belittling the brutal murder of a 21 year old college student? And Republicans wonder why their angry, hateful, pathetic party is now only 20% of the US population.