judy shepardAmidst all the celebrating over the historic DOMA Supreme Court ruling, it’s worth noting those of us who didn’t live long enough to see today. Namely Matthew Shepard, who was notoriously lynched and left to die on a fence post — simply for being gay — back in 1998. Although his mother Judy Shepard champions the demise of DOMA, it’s understandably not all champagne and wedding registries for the mother.

Judy tells People magazine that gay marriage was a topic of discussion between she and her son after a news report. But they had differing points of view on when today would actually arrive:

“He asked me if I thought gay couples would ever be allowed to get married and he wasn’t at all optimistic it would happen. He was in a mindset of, ‘People are never going to accept us or understand us.’ It was a much different world then. There was activism happening, yes. And we were moving on from the AIDS pandemic. But ignorance and the fear out there was its own pandemic. For Matthew, it was a very secret world still. I told him I didn’t think I would see it in my lifetime, but he probably would in his,” she said, her voice shaking. “It’s so sad – and ironic – that it turned out the other way.”

Judy says that she wishes her son was alive  to witness the case that “warms my heart.” She adds that the fall of DOMA is very much “his dream…coming true.” That and a dream of many other families, I’m sure.

(photo: WENN/Fayes Vision)