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Judy Shepard Reacts to DOMA/Prop 8 Decisions

Judy Shepard
Jemal Countess, Getty Images

Judy Shepard, posted her reactions upon hearing word of the Supreme Court’s decision, Wednesday, striking down a federal law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Shepard is the mother of Matthew Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student who was brutally tortured and murdered in 1998.  The case brought nationwide attention to hate-crime legislation on both national and state levels.  Since then Judy Shepard has become an outspoken advocate for gay rights, through a foundation named after her son.

Shepard posted her thoughts following the decision on the Matthew Shepard Foundation’s Facebook page:

“The Supreme Court’s decision to allow the federal government to recognize legal marriages between members of the same sex will grant access to the 1,138 rights that opposite-sex couples have always had: things as simple as joint tax filings and hospital visitation, and as important as death notifications for military spouses and the ability to sponsor a foreign-born spouse for a green card.”


In another ruling Wednesday, the justices said nothing at all about same-sex marriage itself. But they left in place a finding by a trial court that California’s Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional.  Following that decision, Shepard posted the following:

“After Matt came out to me, he once asked me if I thought gay couples would ever be allowed to get married. I told him I didn’t think it would happen in my lifetime, but it probably would in his. It’s so sad, and ironic, that it turned out the other way. But this case warms my heart, to think that his dream is still coming true. Dennis and I look forward to the day when loving, committed couples are able to marry in every state.” 

The decision on California’s Proposition 8 will probably allow California officials to order the resumption of same-sex weddings in the state in about a month.

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