Five years after University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard was killed, touching off a national dialogue on gay rights, an anti-gay hate group wants to put up a monument to Shepard’s murder in his hometown.
AT SHEPARD’S FUNERAL in his hometown of Casper, Wyo., an anti-gay hate group demonstrated in a park across the street, led by the Rev. Fred Phelps, a Baptist minister from Kansas. Now members of Phelps’ group are back in Casper pushing to be allowed to put up a granite monument in the same park where they picketed at Shepard’s funeral.
The proposed monument would say, “Matthew Shepard entered Hell, October 12, 1998.” That was the day that Shepard, 21, died of injuries and hypothermia he suffered five days before when two men beat him with a gun butt and left him to die while tied to a fence post in zero-degree weather, after meeting him at a bar in Laramie. Both of the men were later convicted.
“Our message is a message of God’s hate, not human hate,” said Marge Phelps, the reverend’s wife, also of the Westboro, Kan., Baptist Church. “And the concept of God’s hate is found in the Bible. And all it means is that people are going to go to hell if they disobey God.”
The city park where the anti-gay group wants to put the Shepard monument already has a monument, this one honoring the Ten Commandments from the Bible. And under the law, if the city wants to keep this Shepard monument out, then the Ten Commandments will have to go, too.
I would hate to be him when he reaches his maker…payback is a bitch (and GOD will not be happy).