Quotes Worth Repeating (Re: Matthew Shepard)

Compiled by Crusader from his Nov/Dec 1998 Crusader's Corner column
"We all know (or can find out) the gruesome details about Matthew Shepard's beating and ultimate death at the hands of several troubled young people in Laramie, Wyoming, in October. I have downloaded and read dozens upon dozens of articles, commentaries and television transcripts from the Internet about this horrendous incident as well as the reactions from the usual cast of characters. At first, I was going to write my own commentary but am still too enraged for such comments to have a coherent meaning. Instead, I provide readers with some of the quotations I obtained from the web when this tragedy first hit the national media."
 
--Crusader, December 1998
 
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"Hillary and I ask that your thoughts and your prayers be with Mr. Shepard and his family, and with the people of Laramie, Wyoming. In the face of this terrible act of violence, they are joining together to demonstrate that an act of evil like this is not what our country is all about. In fact it strikes at the very heart of what it means to be an American and at the values that define us as a Nation. We must all reaffirm that we will not tolerate this."
 
--President Bill Clinton, Oct. 10, 1998.
 
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"I hope that in the grief of this moment for Matthew Shepard's family, and in the shared outrage across America, Americans will once again search their hearts and do what they can to reduce their own fear and anxiety and anger at people who are different. And I hope that Congress will pass the Hate Crimes Legislation."
 
--President Bill Clinton, Oct. 12, 1998, The South Lawn
 
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"Tipper and I were saddened to hear of the tragic death of Matthew Shepard. These senseless acts of hate and violence have no place in our communities or in our nation, and we join the American people today in expressing our sense of outrage. As we work to make sure justice is done, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Matthew Shepard at this difficult time."
 
--Vice President Al Gore, Oct. 12, 1998.
 
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"By simply being ourselves and saying there's nothing wrong with us because we are gay, we risk everything --- from our lives to our jobs or custody of our children. The first step in ending this kind of violence, which took Matthew's life, is to end anti-gay discrimination and the hostility that it fosters."
 
--Lambda Legal Director Beatrice Dohrn, Oct. 12, 1998.
 
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"When religious leaders like Pat Robertson threaten meteor showers and terrorist attacks against cities which treat gay and lesbian people fairly; when national leaders like Trent Lott speak out against equal rights and compare lesbian and gay people to psychopathic criminals simply because of who we love; and when so-called 'family values' organizations run multi-million dollar campaigns promoting homosexuality as an abhorrent behavior that can and should be changed, they create a climate that gives permission to acts of violence like those that killed Matthew Shepard."
 
--Lorri L. Jean, Executive Director of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, Oct. 12, 1998.
 
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"Please tell everybody who is listening to go home, give your kids a hug and don't let a day go by without telling them that you love them."
 
--Matthew's mother, in a statement read by a hospital spokesperson.