Sunday, October 12, 2008

James Byrd and Matthew Shepard, who died months apart, linked forever

Dallas Voice reports:
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the hate-motivated murders of both James Byrd Jr and Matthew Shepard. In recognition of those anniversaries, Dallas Voice is publishing a five-part Gay History Month series on victims of anti-gay hate crimes in Texas. This first installment in the series takes a look back at two of the most high-profile hate murders in recent history, and at the state of hate crimes laws in Texas and at the federal level. Subsequent installments will each focus on a specific anti-gay hate murder in Texas.

They were two very different men. One was a 21-year-old white gay man attending college at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. The other was a 49-year-old black man, a father and grandfather, living in his hometown in Southeast Texas. One was a political science student preparing to step out into the promise of the future. The other was unemployed, living on disability payments and trying to step away from a sometimes-troubled past.

What they had in common, though, was what has forever linked James Byrd Jr and Matthew Shepard together in the collective conscience of the country: the way they died. Both were the victims of horrifically brutal murders committed out of hate. READ MORE

H/T: Pam's House Blend