Crime | Gay Rights | Judy Shepard | Matthew Shepard | News | Rachel Maddow

Judy Shepard on Rep. Virginia Foxx and Passage of Hate Crimes Bill


Rachel Maddow spoke with Judy Shepard about the passage of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (aka known as the Matthew Shepard Act, for her son) in the House, and remarks by North Carolina congresswoman suggesting that the murder of her son was not motivated by his sexual orientation, but was a "hoax."

Foxx_s Foxx later said 'hoax" was a poor choice of words but refused to apologize for her broader suggestion. Foxx's remarks were based on a sensationalist and inflammatory 2004 20/20 report by ABC News' Elizabeth Vargas which was slammed for its lack of solid evidence to back up its assertions.

Local North Carolina news outlets reported late Thursday that Foxx had received 10 death threats by voice mail at her office over her remarks.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

You may have missed...
House Approves Federal Hate Crimes Bill to Include Sexual Orientation [tr]
Rep. Virginia Foxx: Matthew Shepard Murder Not a Hate Crime [tr]
Rep. Virginia Backtracks on Matthew Shepard 'Hoax' Remarks [tr]

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  1. When is she up for re-election? She and Sally Kern probably twitter each other. Both theocrats.

    Posted by: CB | May 1, 2009 9:19:40 AM

  2. I always doubt the "death threats" thing that politcians claim after they screwed up. We do have crazies in the community, look at me, but how convinient her office is now claiming that scarry satanist gays are leaving for this godly and saintly woman/ martyr for baby jesus

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | May 1, 2009 9:33:19 AM

  3. That these 'voice mail' death threats are due to her anti-gay statements is a 'hoax', they are simply interested in robbing her.

    Posted by: Wes | May 1, 2009 9:44:24 AM

  4. Judy Shephard is incredible. Most other people would have wanted to put such a tragedy behind them, but she's been fighting tirelessly for this hate crime legislation. I hope it passes this time.

    Posted by: sparks | May 1, 2009 10:03:21 AM

  5. I was thinking the same thing, Jimmy. We learn all the time of ACTUAL anti gay attacks all ovger the world and for many of us among our friends and neighbors. I can think of several anti gay attacks in my own neighborhood even over the last few months.
    And these anti gay politicians, not one of whom I can think of who has EVER in history suffered a bona fide physical attack at the hands of some ``crazed`` pro equality person (an oxymoron, I know}, throw these bones out to the press, without ever actually handing an example over to the police and press.

    Posted by: GregV | May 1, 2009 10:12:10 AM

  6. North Carolina is know for their shady congressional representation. Foxx represents the 5th district, a predominantly white, blue collar district. She succeeds Sen. Richard Burr, same guy Rachel has been criticizing for telling his wife to draw money from the ATM several days in a row because of inside information on the eminent collapse of the economy, all the while retaining that information from his constituents. Needless to say, it is a very conservative district, a place where Foxx has enjoyed 59% of support from the electorate. Thanks in part to media exposure. Sen. Burr has taken a political hit. One could hope the same to happen to Foxx over time, she was reelected in 2008.

    On an interesting note, during her state congressional run, Foxx enjoyed the support of a local gay group soon, who withdrew their support once they learned her bigoted record. She wasn't decent enough to turn them away in the first place. Personally I have see this story repeated over time. First with Gov. Blanco of Louisiana, then with Sen. Clinton and now with Foxx. This is not to say the former were antigay in any way, but it is to make the point that we often buy into stereotypes, thinking they all have our best interest at heart.

    Posted by: Rafael | May 1, 2009 10:19:20 AM

  7. Considering how easily anyone could have laid into Virginia Foxx and ripped her a new one, I was impressed at how graciously Mrs. Shepard spoke on the show.

    Rather than focus on fighting the bile, she focused on the legislation and the Senate hurdles it has yet to clear. It was a very moving appearance.

    Posted by: Mona | May 1, 2009 10:34:13 AM

  8. We can all learn from Judy's poise in a situation like this. Especially considering that she was there and it was about her son. She humbles me.

    Posted by: Mr. E | May 1, 2009 3:58:54 PM

  9. You know, for all the talk of "death threats" from anti-gay politicians, not one of them has actually released those threats for public consumption. I find that very curious.

    Posted by: Tread | May 1, 2009 5:11:07 PM

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