The Most Common Myths about Hate Crimes Laws

Across the country, legislators are making attempts to pass state hate crime statutes that would include crimes motivated by sexual orientation or gender identity. In a January op-ed for the Washington Post, Judy and Dennis Shepard stated that there “simply shouldn’t be political controversy about acknowledging that violence is happening against certain people,” and that hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people are the most common second only to racial bias. Yet, these state-level laws continue to face dangerous opposition based in fear and misinformation. Here are some of the most common myths used to argue against hate crime laws, and the truth you can use to debunk them.

Matthew Shepard FoundationThe Most Common Myths about Hate Crimes Laws
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Judy & Dennis Shepard: Your Words Give Us Hope

To our friends and supporters, new and established, In the past month, we have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of letters and emails from all of you sending support and encouragement. At the beginning of December, Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine—a documentary sharing Matt’s story as told by those who knew and loved …

Matthew Shepard FoundationJudy & Dennis Shepard: Your Words Give Us Hope
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NBA Response to Hate Speech sets higher standard

By Dennis Shepard, Co-Founder Not so long ago, the elements of a recent pro basketball player’s actions probably would have generated a few worrisome and negative headlines. “NBAer stalks, hurls anti-gay slurs at ref.” “Pro basketball probe into gay slur drags on into 2nd week.” “Gay NBA ref outs self, cites at-risk youth.” But this …

Matthew Shepard FoundationNBA Response to Hate Speech sets higher standard
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Kansas City, KS Citizen-led Coalition Aims to Tackle Issues with Hate Crimes Reporting

In all of 2014, law enforcement agencies in Kansas City, Kansas, reported one hate crime incident. In that incident the victim was targeted because of the offender’s bias against the victim’s race. For a city with a population of nearly 150,000, one reported hate crime is a significantly low and likely inaccurate number. But, sadly, …

Matthew Shepard FoundationKansas City, KS Citizen-led Coalition Aims to Tackle Issues with Hate Crimes Reporting
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2014 hate crime stats better, but expose weak reporting

The 2014 hate crimes statistics, released this morning by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, show small signs of improvement with a slight uptick in the number of participating law enforcement agencies and fewer reported incidents of hate crimes. But while reporting remains voluntary and with many cities with populations over 100,000 consistently reporting zero each …

Matthew Shepard Foundation2014 hate crime stats better, but expose weak reporting
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The Law that Bears Matt’s Name: Six Years Later

On this day in 2009, President Barack Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law, marking the inclusion of language for sexual orientation and gender identity and expression into the federal hate crimes law. For the past six years, the Matthew Shepard Foundation has been able to better …

Matthew Shepard FoundationThe Law that Bears Matt’s Name: Six Years Later
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Highlights from our 2015 Honors Gala

On the night of October 10, 2015, at the Seawell Grand Ballroom at the Denver Center for Performing Arts, Judy and Dennis Shepard and the rest of the Matthew Shepard Foundation gathered at our Honors Gala with friends and supporters, new and old, to celebrate another year of progress toward our mission to secure a …

Matthew Shepard FoundationHighlights from our 2015 Honors Gala
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Matthew Shepard Foundation joins #50StatesAgainstHate to Strengthen Hate Crimes Laws

The Matthew Shepard Foundation is proud to announce its participation in the Anti Defamation League’s (ADL) #50StatesAgainstHate coalition aimed at implementing and strengthening hate crimes laws across the country. Our executive director, Jason Marsden, joined ADL’s Civil Rights Committee on October 16 in Denver to speak about the Foundation’s long held position as leaders in hate crimes …

Matthew Shepard FoundationMatthew Shepard Foundation joins #50StatesAgainstHate to Strengthen Hate Crimes Laws
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