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Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty

Representing the 5th District of Connecticut

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Esty Introduces Resolution to Reaffirm Congress’s Continued Opposition of Hate Crimes, Support for the Advancement of LGBTQIA+ Equality

October 12, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Today, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) introduced H.Res.1121, a resolution remembering Matthew Shepard and affirming Congress’ support for the LGBTQIA+ community and opposition to hate crimes. October 12, 2018 is the 20th anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old student at the University of Wyoming, who on October 7, 1998, was brutally attacked and tied to a fence in a field outside of Laramie, Wyoming and left to die. He succumbed to his injuries on October 12, 1998. Esty introduced the resolution with a bipartisan group of more than 80 cosponsors, including Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT-3), Rep. John Larson (CT-1), Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-2), and Rep. Jim Himes (CT-4).

“Today is a solemn reminder of how much more we must do to secure full rights and protections to all Americans regardless of who they are or who they love. I introduced this Resolution as part of my commitment to stand with those who face bigotry, discrimination, and violence, and to ensure all LGBTQIA+ Americans live in a safe and inclusive society,” Esty said. “This is personal for many American families, including my own. My brother had the courage to come out in 1978, when equality was still a distant dream. Matthew Shepard’s murder is a reminder of the price of the hatred and fear that has touched too many of our LGBTQIA+ loved ones and friends. And, although there is still much work to do in the cause of equality and strengthening all families, I am proud to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in building a more inclusive, more equal future.”

"We are so thankful that we have allies in DC who still find it important to take the time to remember Matthew. Today, it has been 20 years, and we must take the time to reflect on our progress. Though we've accomplished quite a bit, we know just how much further we have to go in order to ensure all members of minority communities are able to feel safe and affirmed. It begins here," Judy Shepard, Matthew’s mother and President of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, said.

Esty unveiled the resolution at an LGBTQIA+ roundtable discussion while at Central Connecticut State University. The resolution expresses Congress’s continued opposition of hate crimes and support for the advancement of equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Americans. It also resolves that people should not face violence or discrimination for their sexual orientation or gender identity. Additionally, the resolution reaffirms Congress’s support for LGBTQIA+ inclusive hate crime laws and recognizes the Federal Government’s role in these judicial issues. 

Esty’s resolution was endorsed by the Matthew Shepard Foundation, the National Center for Transgender Equality, and the Human Rights Campaign. It was announced on October 11, 2018 that Shepard will be interred at Washington National Cathedral.

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