Judy Shepard lost her son, Matthew, in October, 1998, when he was beaten to death for being gay by two men in Laramie, Wyoming. The incident became a landmark in the push for hate-crimes legislation, which has been passed in several states, but never on a national basis.

On KTRS/St. Louis today, I talked with Judy about why she feels such legislation is necessary, how her son’s murder turned her into a gay rights activist, and how she deals with people in her town who refuse to accept what really happened to Matthew.

As you’ll hear, she started the interview off a little tentatively, but eventually got rolling. Her book is “The Meaning of Matthew: My Son’s Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed.”

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