Preventing hate crimes is the topic of a lecture tonight (Wednesday) in Cedar Falls. The University of Northern Iowa is hosting Judy Shepard, of Wyoming, whose son was murdered in 1998 in a case that captured international publicity. 21-year-old Matthew Sheperd was lured from a bar in Laramie by two men, driven to a remote field, beaten with the butt of a gun a left to die, tied to a fence in near-freezing temperatures. The motive was attributed to his homosexuality. Judy Shepard and her husband, Dennis, established the Matthew Sheperd Foundation with the goals of increasing gay and lesbian equality and to prevent hate crimes. Mrs. Shepard speaks to audiences nationwide about making schools and communities safer for everyone, regardless of race, sex, religion or sexual preference. Her address at 7:30 is free at U-N-I’s Lang Hall Auditorium.
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