Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for May, 2009

Matthew Shepard’s Mother Responds To Rep. Foxx

Jim Burroway

May 1st, 2009

Judy Shepard isn’t taking this lying down.

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Another Hoax From Rep. Foxx?

Jim Burroway

April 30th, 2009

After Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) was roundly criticized for describing Matthew Shephard’s hate crime murder as “a hoax” (in the presence of Matthew’s mother, no less), Foxx’s staff began floating rumors that Rep. Foxx has become the target of death threats.

The problem with that? The Capital Police say they are unaware of any threats and there are no ongoing investigations.

More hoaxes to come, I’m sure.

LaBarbera Award: Rep. Virginia Foxx

Jim Burroway

April 29th, 2009

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) is our latest winner of the LaBarbera Award for her explanation of why she opposed the The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, otherwise known as the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act. That bill passed the House this afternoon.

During the debate leading up to the vote, Rep. Foxx lambasted the bill and the young man for whom the proposed legislation is named. While Matthew’s mother, Judy Shepard watched the debate from the House gallery, Foxx called Matthew’s hate crime murder a “hoax”:

The hate crimes bill that’s called the Matthew Shepard Bill is named after a very unfortunate incident that happened where a young man was killed, but we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn’t because he was gay. This — the bill was named for him, hate crimes bill was named for him, but it’s really a hoax that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills,” Foxx said from the floor of the House of Representatives.

A hoax? Really? That’s not what Laramie investigators found:

…[D]etectives dismissed the idea that the murder was the mere result of a robbery gone bad.

“Far from that!” scoffed Sgt. Rob DeBree, the chief investigator in the case. “They knew damn well he was gay … It started out as a robbery and burglary, and I sincerely believe the other activity was because he was gay.”

…[Convicted killer Russell] Henderson provided a detailed account of that plan. The killers identified Shepard as a lonely homosexual, an easy mark, and retreated to the bathroom to hatch their plot. Henderson made the first advance by whispering a come-on in Shepard’s ear, and “McKinney tried to feminize his voice to continue the lure,” DeBree said.

Laramie’s detectives and prosecutors had no doubts whatsoever that Matthew Shepard’s murder was a hate crime, and that he was specifically targeted because he was gay. The only hoax here is the reprehensible comment by Rep. Foxx. Making those comments in front of Matthew’s mother is beyond all measures of human decency. Which is exactly the sort of behavior we expect from a LaBarbera Award winner.