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Towleroad Interview: Judy Shepard on Hate Crimes, Forgiveness, and The Meaning of Matthew

Judy_shepard

Judy Shepard, tireless crusader against anti-gay hate crimes since her son Matthew was murdered in 1998, has a new memoir out — The Meaning of Matthew: My Son's Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed. Over Pride weekend in New York City, Towleroad correspondent Josh Helmin interviewed Shepard about the book, her experience as a Grand Marshall at NYC's Pride Parade, and whether she could ever offer forgiveness to her son's killers.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Towleroad Interview: Judy Shepard on Hate Crimes, Forgiveness, and The Meaning of Matthew" »


News: True Blood, American Apparel, Chicago Cubs, Madonna

1111 road True Blood's Alexander Skarsgardand Stephen Moyer link arms.

 road Knoxville lesbian marries her partner in DC. DMV issues her a new license with her partner's last name but when an employee realizes her spouse is a woman, they ask for it back shouting, "You've got to give me the license back, we don't recognize same sex marriage."

 road Prince Harry throws out the first pitch at a Mets game while in NYC.

 road American Apparel's "Dress Code Manual" - complete with pictures!

 road 200 pro-gay rights activists march in Bulgaria despite the endless criticism from the powerful Christian Orthodox Church in that country.

 road Baseball legend Ernie Banks will be perched on top of the Chicago Cubs's float during that city's Gay Pride parade tomorrow.

 road Chicago's Cyon Flare on gay Pride fatigue: "I think that we’ll always have many age groups that suffer from pride parade fatigue, at some point in their lives. The key is to enjoy what you can [about Gay Pride celebrations], what you feel comfortable with, and to remain visible to the community. We need you 40-somethings...the power of your presence makes a difference."

 road Lackluster fashion line from Madonna and her daughter revealed.

 road OK Go band member in a staring contest with a muppet. 2222

 road Should Lavender Magazine have outed anti-gay pastor Tom Brock this past week? Minneapolis Star-Tribune: "Critics pointed out that the magazine did not have a direct quote from Brock saying that he had engaged in homosexual acts. The article implied that was the case by quoting him as saying that while on a preaching mission to Slovakia he 'fell into temptation,' but did not explain what that meant."

 road If you look up in the sky tonight and see a red moon, don't worry. The added color is all thanks to Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano.

 road Judy Shepard on her job as one of the grand marshals for NYC's Pride parade: "I'm looking forward to the people, I don't do many pride events so this is very exciting for me. I hope it's not too hot, and not raining."

 road Britney Spears and K-Fed back together reunite...for their child's graduation from pre-school.


News: Judy Shepard, HIV, Hilary Rosen, Madrid, Jersey Shore

 road National Organization for Marriage (NOM) loses appeal in Maine.

Shepard  roadJudy Shepard memoir nixed from university reading program for being homophobic?

 roadTom Cruise gushes on David Beckham: "I really admire David Beckham as a person, father, husband and athlete. He's absolutely fantastic. He's got a great competitive spirit and he's a tireless worker with a clear mind and a solid body." Especially a solid body.

 roadMassive flow of bullshit continues to flow from BP headquarters. "Though no one knows exactly how much of the dangerous bullshit is currently gushing from BP headquarters, estimates put the number at somewhere between 25,000 and 70,000 words a day."

 roadAIDS Drug Assistance Program threatened by specter of Tea Party challengers.

 roadWATCH: The first 13 minutes of Jersey Shore season 2.

 roadGay rights poised to become wedge issue in Georgia gubernatorial race.

 roadLady Gaga makes a fashion statement at her sister's graduation.

 roadMadrid Pride cancels invitation to Israeli officials over flotilla incident: "The Israeli delegation, made up of members of the LGBT association and the Foreign Ministry, was scheduled to run an Israeli 'bus' in the parade, for the first time since its establishment. But the delegation has recently received hints from Spain that their arrival may cause anger among local pro-Palestinian groups, which may require excess security and, more importantly, cause a lot of embarrassment."

Rosen   roadHuffington Post cuts ties with Hilary Rosen for taking consulting job with BP. "Hilary is no longer our Washington Editor at Large, a mutual decision we recently reached given her involvement with BP. However, we still have a great personal relationship. And, of course, Hilary’s work with BP has had zero effect on our coverage of the company or the disaster in the gulf. Comprehensive and hard-hitting, our coverage speaks for itself."

 roadRyan Gosling eats pizza, looks fine while doing so.

 roadRobbie Williams and Gary Barlow to release duet single: "The single, titled Shame, has been written by the pair and will be released on 4 October."

 roadSF Appeal looks at the problem of gay hook-up violence...

 roadLittle Britain's Matt Lucas scores role on Glee.

 roadAs does John Stamos — who will be cleaning teeth!

 roadApple under investigation for weird questions during sales of iPads to Asians.

Pronger  roadChicago Tribune ridicules Flyers hockey player Chris Pronger by putting him in a women's skirt.

 roadGay men attacked in Windsor, Ontario.

 roadGrand Rapids Community College trustee opposes funds for theatre group because it once performed Terrence McNally's Corpus Christi about gay Jesus Christ.

 roadSun floats Taliban HIV-bomb story.

 roadJudge drops bioterrorism charge in HIV-infected Detroit man's defense case: "'People didn't take the time to investigate properly and understand what HIV is,' Allen told reporters. 'It's not a death sentence. I'm not dying. I'm living. People need to stop hating people with HIV. This disease can happen to anyone.' Allen is accused of biting his neighbor, Winfred Fernandis Jr., on the lip during an altercation over a football in Allen's driveway. Prosecutors say Allen was the lone attacker. But Allen's attorney, James L. Galen Jr., said Allen was the victim, and was attacked by Fernandis and members of Fernandis' family because he's gay."


Mississippi Lesbian Constance McMillen to Lead NYC Pride Parade

Nycpride

Heritage of Pride announced today that Mississippi lesbian student Constance McMillen would join Judy Shepard and Lt. Dan Choi as Grand Marshals of the NYC Gay Pride parade on Sunday, June 27.

Said McMillen: “I never dreamed so many people would support my fight to take my girlfriend to the prom, much less that I’d end up being asked to be a Grand Marshal at NYC Pride. I’m really honored and touched to be asked to be part of this celebration.”


Watch: Obama Remarks on Passage of Hate Crimes Law

Masact

President Obama made remarks late today on the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd, Jr. Hates Crimes Prevention Bill, which he signed into law earlier this afternoon.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Watch: Obama Remarks on Passage of Hate Crimes Law" »


Attorney General Eric Holder Praises Hate Crimes Law, Lacks Familiarity with Maine Marriage Equality Ballot Measure

Holder

Guestblogger COREY JOHNSON

I just left the signing of the Department of Defense Authorization bill, to which the the inclusive hate-crimes bill was attached. It was a very moving occasion and I'll have a post later reflecting on this historic day for the LGBT community, but for now some remarks from Attorney General Eric Holder. I took the (blurry, apologies) photo above of Holder, Judy Shepard, and White House Office of Public Engagement Deputy Director Brian Bond just before the ceremony.

Holder made himself available just after the event and was asked a few questions. I was able to ask him to clarify his recent weak remarks on Question 1 in Maine, but unfortunately Holder said he was not familiar with the ballot measure.

Said Holder: "I think this is the next great civil rights bill. We have after ten, twelve years finally come to recognize that federal law should apply, as the President said, to all Americans. This is a great tool for the Justice Department and will I think significantly improve the quality of life for people with disabilities, for women and for gay and lesbian Americans. This is a great, great day and too long coming."

A follow-up was asked about what actions the Justice Department's civil rights division can take tomorrow that they couldn't take today on hate crimes.

Answered Holder: "We can give assistance to state and local prosecutors who will investigate the vast majority of these crimes and in those instances where they don't have the ability to or desire, we can now prosecute these crimes and we could not do that thirty minutes ago. Now we can."

Recalling Holder's recent appearance in Maine at which he was asked about Question 1 and surprisingly refused to take a stand, I wanted to see if he had any clarification, so I asked him, "You were in Maine earlier this week and were asked about Question 1, which would take away same-sex marriage. You didn't comment on it at the time but would you like to clarify?"

Said Holder: "Well, what I said was that the President has indicated and I personally favor of the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and that is something we are working to do."

I replied, "And the referendum in Maine -- would you like to speak further on that?"

Holder's answer? "I don't really know enough about the referendum over there to comment."


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