Matthew Shepard’s Mom Feels Bittersweet About DOMA Ruling

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)

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  • Rachel Sea

    I hope that today’s decision furthers people’s acceptance that LGBT people deserve equality. Children born today will always live in a world where the US recognizes the value of all marriages, and by extension, all families. Maybe in 10 or 15 years, gay teens and young adults won’t feel like they need to either kill or die over sexuality.

  • Anne Cordelia

    This breaks my heart. To think that this woman has to live without her son for NO GOOD G*DDAMNED REASON makes me furious and sad and ashamed to call the people who could do somthing like this my countrymen. Stories like this show us how important this SCOTUS decision really is. No freedom until we’re ALL equal: men, women, straight, gay, black, white. It doesn’t have to be a fairytale; moments like this show us it can be real.

    • CrazyFor Kate

      And the fact that there are still a lot people out there who, if not as violent as the guys that attacked Matthew (which some definitely are), don’t have a problem with anything like that happening. It really burns me up.

  • Ashley

    Oh jeez…it’s raining on my face. This is absolutely heartbreaking. And knowing that she isn’t the only one suffering with these feelings is even worse. The gay people we have lost to murder and suicide who don’t get to see this turning of the tide is so upsetting.

  • keelhaulrose

    This is why equality matters. Because there are too many LGBT persons who didn’t get to live to see this moment because their lives were stolen from them, or they were driven to suicide.
    When, in a decade or so, a coming out story will be met with “Cool, pass the salt” hopefully the violence will slow and kids will see that it does get better.

  • nevilleross

    She should really be pissed off at the FCC for allowing right-wing fundamentalist Christians to broadcast their hate-filled bullshit on the air; that kind of thing is what most likely influenced those who killed her son (among other societal factors.)