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Matthew Shepard (1976-1998) was an American college student who was brutally tortured and murdered near Laramie, Wyoming, in October 1998. The reason for something so horrific? He was homosexual and someone thought he had some money or drugs.
 Murder and reactions
After meeting his two would-be killers in a bar, they volunteered to drive him home. They subsequently drove him to a remote area near Laramie, where they pistol-whipped, robbed and tortured him, before tying him to a fence, leaving him to die. Shepard was discovered the next day by a cyclist who mistook him for a scarecrow. He was taken to Poudre Valley Hospital, Fort Collins, Colorado soon after, but was pronounced dead at 12:53am on October 12, 1998. He was only 21 years old.
His funeral on October 17th drew the attention of Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church (old Fred was still publicly protesting with his cult at this point) who picketed it, with signs reading "Fag Matt In Hell", "Matthew Shepard rots in Hell" and "God Hates Fags". A 'perpetual gospel memorial' page to Shepard on Phelps' website was created some time later, depicting a photo of Shepard's head being engulfed by flames, with the number of days he had been in Hell since his 1998 murder. The WBC argued that Shepard was not killed for his homosexuality, and his death was in fact a result of a drug deal gone wrong; evidence for this primarily comes from subsequent statements from his killers and the girlfriend of one of them, which has received very mixed reactions from followers of the case. But then again, the fag media would just be covering it up, wouldn't they?
After failed attempts by President Clinton to amend hate crime legislation, President Barack Obama was eventually successful in passing the Matthew Shepard Act in 2009. The law was an expansion of the 1969 federal hate crime law to include crimes motivated by an individual's ethnicity, sexual preference, gender identity or disability. It was passed in the Senate with a vote of 68-29. The Act was initially introduced in early 2007; however the lovely Dubya said he would have vetoed it if it reached his desk and the influence of conservative groups helped prevent it from getting passed.