Today on CNN Newsroom

The latest news and information from around the world. Also connect with CNN through social media. We want to hear from you.
June 26th, 2009
03:08 PM ET

Matthew Shepard's Mom & Dad, On Hate Crimes Bill

In 2007, a bill named for Matthew Shepard was introduced in Congress. Two years later, and more than 10 years after his murder, lawmakers are still debating if they should expand federal hate crimes protections. Matthew's parents, Dennis and Judy Shepard, joined Kyra live in the NewsRoom.



You can find more information on The Matthew Shepard Foundation at


soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Cheryl

    Robbery may be the intent but if they didn't have a someone they saw as an easy target would they just have picked someone else. If so why didn't they?
    Unless a preacher is saying "Go kill Gay people" they have nothing to worry about. If that is what they are saying it is no different than yelling "Fire" in a theater.
    Everyday people are targeted because the attacker sees them as weak in some way. That needs to be taken into account when people are charged and sentenced with a crime when they specifically target people based on age, color, race, creed, religion, sex or sexual orientation. It is called an extenuating circumstance.

    June 26, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  2. Richie Chiling

    Thank You Michael for sharing your talent with us and know that you will be missed beyond words. Rest in Peace now Michael. We love you. Forever... Richie C.

    June 26, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  3. Liisa

    Cut out Michael Jackson already! I 've had enough already.He is not a Demi-god. Give it up! You are supposed to be a NEWS station. Please report the news! I plead with you!

    June 26, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  4. Tania

    the world laugh dance to sing your song and cry for you Micheal thak you for devotion your talent now we are reavement rest now to paradise good by the child of Micheal the world you love and welcome in our house

    June 26, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  5. Martin in Shoreline, WA

    The Shepards are a perfect example of everything that is wrong with America. We are an extremely self-centered society. "Narcissistic" doesn't even begin to describe it. I am sorry that they have lost a son. That shouldn't happen to anybody. But the fact is that it does. Just because you lose a loved one, doesn't mean you have to go on a crusade and erode the rights of everyone else in this country.

    People like the Shepards say they do this because they do not want it to happen to someone else. That is a lie. You can pass all of the thought crime legislation in the world, and you are not going to stop anything. And they know it. No law is going to end a human emotion. We do not need to expand these laws. We need to get rid of the stupid "thought crime" that are already on the books. A person who is gay, black, or female is not worth more than someone who is white, straight, or male. Anyone who thinks different is a bigot.

    How about this government record Kyra?: Blacks murder three times as many whites; as compared to whites who murder blacks. THREE times as many, and they are only 12% of the population. But we never hear this, do we. So why are black people never charged with a hate crime for killing a white person? THAT is the problem with discriminatory legislation like this.

    I found Mr. Shepard's claim that it is open season on gays to be extremely distasteful. It is just another lame effort to rationalize the unjust behavior he is indulging in. Gays are not murdered any more than straight people, just like blacks are not murdered more than whites. At least not BY whites.

    This IS a no brainer Mrs. Shepard. If a gay person murders someone, I want them to get the exact same treatment a straight person would receive. Your vigilante sensibilities need to be demonized as just that. And your claim that this is not an assault on free speech is ludicrous. You are trying to outlaw an emotion. I can't think of a more heinous assault on free thought.

    June 27, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  6. John in Seattle, WA

    This entire thought crime debate is simply a matter of personal opinion. And as everyone is fond of saying, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    What you DO NOT have a right to, is pursuing legislation that forces your idiotic opinion upon the rest of us. If you think killing a gay person deserves more punishment than killing a straight person, you are entitled to have those bigoted thoughts. But you have ZERO right to force the rest of us to adhere to your psychotic belief system.

    I swear, I hate America more every single day. As a white heterosexual male, the value of my life declines in the eyes of Americans every single day. Then you morons wonder where the hate comes from, and try to outlaw it.

    June 27, 2009 at 8:27 pm |

    Hello Dear Kyra Thank you so much For Posting This Tube God Bless , And For Your Excellent Information Given At All Times . Tirdad

    June 29, 2009 at 5:27 am |

    Kyra Phillips Thank you very Much for this excellent information Kyra Is doing An excellent work on cnn And I would Personally Thank You Dear Kyra Phillips.Tirdad Gharib,

    June 29, 2009 at 8:25 am |
  9. Potter Kingsland, Ga

    My heart goes out to the family of Matthew.

    June 29, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  10. purecommonsense

    Matthew Shepard's death was tragic, but this bill's passage may be even more tragic. I see the individualism that once made this country great slipping away...

    October 14, 2009 at 2:47 pm |

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.