April 30, 2009
Congresswoman Virginia Foxx has issued an apology after using the word “hoax” to describe the details surrounding Matthew Shepard’s death in 1998.
Several human rights organizations have expressed discontent with Foxx’ statements.
While on the House Floor on Wednesday, the Republican said, “The hate crime bill that is called the Matthew Shepard Bill is named after a very unfortunate incident that happened where a young man was killed, but we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery.
April 30, 2009
Published: April 30, 2009
U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx came under fire yesterday for saying that the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay man in Wyoming, was not a hate crime.
Foxx, R-5th, who was arguing against a bill that would expand a federal hate crimes law to include acts motivated by sexual orientation, giving gay and lesbians more federal protection, said that attempts to call the murder a hate crime were “a hoax.”
“The hate-crime bill that’s called the Matthew Shepard Bill is named after a very unfortunate incident that happened where a young man was killed — but we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery,” Foxx said yesterday on the floor of Congress. “It wasn’t because he was gay. The bill was named for him — the hate-crimes bill was named for him — but it’s really a hoax that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills.”
April 29, 2009
As U.S. House lawmakers made preparations Tuesday for a floor vote on hate crimes legislation, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) introduced similar legislation in the Senate.
The new Senate bill, called the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act, is named after a gay college student who was murdered near Laramie, Wyo., in 1998 because of his sexual orientation. Like the House bill, it would enable the Justice Department to prosecute hate crimes committed against LGBT people.
In a statement Tuesday, Kennedy said the legislation is “long overdue” and “hate crimes are especially poisonous.”
“They are acts of domestic terrorism that target whole communities, not just individuals,” he said. “This bill will bring greater protection to our citizens and much-needed resources for state and local law enforcement to fight these vicious crimes.”
March 1, 2009
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina congresswoman said Thursday she chose her words poorly when she called claims that a Wyoming college student was murdered because he was gay a “hoax.” Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx said during debate in the House that Matthew Shepard’s 1998 death wasn’t a hate crime and shouldn’t be invoked by supporters of a bill to expand the definition of such crimes to include violence motivated by sexual orientation.
“We know that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn’t because he was gay,” Foxx said during debate. “The bill was named for him, the hate-crimes bill was named for him, but it’s really a hoax that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills.”