Judy Shepard Hub




Judy Shepard Talks 'Incredible' LGBT Progress and Why She Thinks Bill Clinton Got 'Bad Advice' on DOMA - VIDEO

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Judy and Dennis Shepard recently sat down with HuffPostLive to talk about the "incredible" LGBT progress made since Matthew's passing, as well as the new documentary film on their son - Matthew Shepard is a Friend of Mine

While there, Judy also shared her thoughts on Bill Clinton and why she think's "bad advice" played into him signing the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. 

Said Shepard:

I think in his heart he wanted to do the right thing and he knew what the right thing was, but the political advice was not right.  

Watch the full segment, which also includes Judy's thoughts on the GOP midterm election vicotry "setback" and whether she's planning on voting for Hillary in 2016, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Matthew Shepard's Parents Head To Russia To Fight Anti-LGBT Intolerance: VIDEO

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The parents of Matthew Shepard are heading to hostile territory in hopes of bringing a message of tolerance to Russia. Tomorrow, Dennis and Judy depart for St. Petersburg to attend the screening of a movie about their slain son and then move on to Moscow, where they hope to meet with parents of LGBT youth. In a country where gays are consistently harassed for spreading so-called "propaganda", the Shepards hope to bring a message of tolerance on their five-day trip. But given how entrenched anti-LGBT attitudes have become under the rule of Vladimir Putin, they know it won't be easy.

“Putin has made it so unhealthy to be LGBT or an ally,” Dennis Shepard told the AP in an interview about their trip. “It will take at least a generation to clean up the mess he’s made and get some acceptance.”

Their first stop will be a screening of Matthew Shepard is a Friend of Mine at the Side by Side Film Festival in St. Petersburg, an annual event since 2008 which has been promoting LGBT tolerance while drawing criticism from government officials there. But filmmaker Michele Josue, who was a close friend of Matthew's in high school, feels strongly about screening her film in a hostile environment. 

"We've been preaching to the choir," she said of previous screenings in the U.S. "It's important to get our film seen by a community that didn't have access to it."

The film, which has been on the festival circuit this year, makes its NYC premiere tonight at the Doc NYC Festival. You can watch the moving trailer AFTER THE JUMP...

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Judy Shepard And Hundreds Of Activists Set To Attend LGBT Rights Conference In Mexico City Next Week

The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) is set to hold it's 27th world conference in Mexico City next week. 

LOGO-WEB-298x300According to an article in the Washington Blade, Judy and Dennis Shepard, parents of Matthew Shepard, will be speaking to members of the group, which is an umbrella organization of more than 1,000 local and national groups devoted to advancing LGBT rights worldwide and monitoring laws that protect or persecute LGBT people. The group is also known for its maps of the world which highlight LGBT rights in different regions, like Europe.

“Dennis and I are excited to be able to meet so many amazing activists from ILGA next week,” Judy Shepard told the Blade. “We’re very much looking forward to learning from the other participants.” 

ILGA expects more than 400 activists from over a dozen countries to be there for five days of panels, meetings and discussions. The conference runs from October 27th through the 31st, with other U.S. attendees including Ty Cobb of the Human Rights Campaign and Shawn Gaylord of Human Rights First. The location of the event is notable as Mexico is currently experiencing some growing pains over LGBT rights, with massive protests against marriage equality after it was voted in for the Coahuila province earlier this year.


Jason Collins, Who Wears '98' in Tribute to Matthew Shepard, Met His Parents Last Night: PHOTO

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Brooklyn Nets player Jason Collins, who wears '98' as a tribute to Matthew Shepard who was brutally murdered that year, met Shepard's parents and brother Logan for the first time last night after they drove four hours from their home in Casper, Wyoming to see him in Denver. He presented them with a jersey.

Said Collins before the meeting:

“I was in college at the time when [Matthew] was killed. Of course it’s a tragedy what happened and I just hope it inspires others to come forward. It’s definitely going to be special meeting them after the game (Thursday) and I’m looking forward to it."

Collins' jersey has been selling in record numbers since it went on the NBA's website earlier this week.

The NY Daily News adds:

Asked if he thought the popularity of the jersey could be seen as a symbol of support for those uncomfortable about revealing their sexuality, Collins said, “That’s something for you guys to speculate on. But I’m always encouraging others to live their life and speak up and come forward if you want to, and know that if you do there’s a lot of people waiting to support you.”

Tweeted Collins, with the above photo: "I'm so fortunate to have met Matthew Shepard's parents and brother tonight after @BrooklynNets win tonight in Denver"

An interview with Collins, and Shepard, AFTER THE JUMP...

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National Cathedral Dean: Homophobia is a Sin

Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 4.23.51 PMAs part of a weekend honoring LGBT young people at the Washington National Cathedral, Rev. Gary Hall (pictured right) spoke out against homophobia and heterosexism, denouncing both as 'sin.' The Huffington Post reports:

"We must now have the courage to take the final step and call homophobia and heterosexism what they are. They are sin. Homophobia is a sin. Heterosexism is a sin. Shaming people for whom they love is a sin," said Dean Hall. He continued, "Only when all our churches say that clearly and boldly and courageously will our LGBT youth be free to grow up in a culture that totally embraces them fully as they are."

He criticized the role that some churches have in advancing oppression of LGBT youth, saying, "It's more than tragic - in fact it's shameful - that faith communities, especially Christian ones, continue to be complicit in putting out children at risk and abetting the attitudes that oppress them, thereby encouraging the aggressors who would subject our children to pain, humiliation, and violence."

Hall's sermon marked the 15th anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard and the third anniversary of the suicide of Tyler Clementi. Both Judy Shepard and Jane Clementi were at the Sunday service to honor their sons' lives. 

Back in January, Rev. Hall announced the prominent Episcopal cathedral would begin celebrating same-sex marriages.

(photo via National Cathedral


A Huge Round-Up of Celeb Reactions to SCOTUS Rulings On DOMA, Prop. 8: VIDEO

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Today's rulings issued by the Supreme Court have certainly elicited strong reactions from friends and foes of marriage equality. 

Judy_shepardJudy Shepard, LGBT advocate and mother of Matthew Shepard, reflected upon a conversation she had with Matthew about marriage equality:

"After Matt came out to me, he once asked me if I thought gay couples would ever be allowed to get married. I told him I didn’t think it would happen in my lifetime, but it probably would in his. It’s so sad and ironic that it turned out the other way. But this case warms my heart, to think that his dream is still coming true. Dennis and I look forward to the day when loving, committed couples are able to marry in every state.”

AppleApple, which filed an Amicus brief in the Hollingsworth v. Perry case, along with many other major corporations, issued a statement today, expressing its support for the rulings that were handed down:

"Apple strongly supports marriage equality and we consider it a civil rights issue. We applaud the Supreme Court for its decisions today."

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, in a joint statement issued with San Francisco's Archbishop Salvitore Cordileone, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, expressed his disapproval: 

“Today is a tragic day for marriage and our nation. The Court got it wrong. The federal government ought to respect the truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, even where states fail to do so."

The fashion industry has been practically unanimous in its support for the in-roads made today in the battle for marriage equality, with Isaac Mizrazhi declaring "HOORAY!," and Marc Jacobs unfurling new celebratory window dressings (pictured above), replete with the popular phrase, "love is love."

WynneCanada's only openly gay premier, Kathleen Wynne of Ontario, remarked, "I am so happy for our neighbours to the south," calling today's rulings, "an important step."

Glenn Beck and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul discussed their fear that we might now be heading down a road to state-sanctioned polygamy. Outgoing Rep. Michelle Bachman bemoaned the victories for marriage equality, noting, “no man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted." To which Nancy Pelosi pithily responded, "Who cares?"

RuPaul, meanwhile, delcared today a double elimination: "I'm sending you both home. #DOMA and #Prop8, sashay away!"

GagaLady Gaga noted the work that still needs to be done to achieve full equality, given the somewhat limited nature of the court's ruling, tweeting: "Who will be our Abe Lincoln today? Who will make the choice of FREEDOM FOR ALL."

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand echoed the sentiment: "Congress must finish the job #SCOTUS started by repealing #DOMA in full. Join me & @DailyKos in urging Congress to act http://t.co/EQlFEreIOy"

Marriage equality advocate Chris Kluwe referenced the DOMA ruling in particular, noting, "Giving states the right to decide on issues means nothing if they disenfranchise certain populations."

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, who has long fought for marriage equality in his own state, commented, "I applaud #SCOTUS for striking down #DOMA & affirming that the way forward is always found through equal rights & respect for human dignity."

Senator Jim DeMint called attention to what he believes will be the likely aftermath of the day's events: "The debate about marriage will continue after today and states will lead the way."

2_ricky_martinProud papa Ricky Martin celebrated on twitter, proclaiming, "🎉🎉🎉🎉#SCOTUS Justice for all! #DOMA IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!!! 🎉🎉🎉🎉"

And of course, our most beloved comedians and comediennes weighed in on the news.

Seth Meyers aptly advised, "DOMA and Prop 8 should get married."

Neil Patrick Harris, ever the musically-inclined commentator, quipped, "DOMA-it-just-lost-O Mr. Roboto! So, so happy for Edie, et al."

Meanwhile, Lena Dunham and Joan Rivers had their minds on the actual business of getting married, with Dunham remarking, "Don't wanna traffic in stereotypes but let's be real: I'm gonna love a gay wedding" and Rivers suggesting, "Any straight person complaining about the Supreme Court striking down DOMA should be forced to hire a heterosexual wedding planner."

Check out  a video of ABC weatherman Sam Champion discussing his "heart-pounding" response to today's news (warning: autoplay) AFTER THE JUMP...

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