Matthew Shepard’s Mother Judy Shepard Releases Statement Regarding Fred Phelps’ Death

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judy shepard fred phelps

“Regarding the passing of Fred Phelps, [husband] Dennis and I know how solemn these moments are for anyone who loses a loved one. Out of respect for all people and our desire to erase hate, we’ve decided not to comment further.”

Judy Shepard is more gracious than most parents would have been following the death of Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church, who picketed her son Matthew’s funeral. In 1998, a 21-year-old Matthew was tortured and killed by two young men because he was gay. The Phelps family has picketed LGBTQ pride events, military funerals, high-profile funerals in general, inaugural balls, and performances of the play “The Laramie Project” (about Matthew Shepard’s death), carrying signs that read “God Hates Fags” and “Sin & Shame, Not Pride.” Phelps died this week at age 84. Judy Shepard’s response is the  personification of class. [Advocate] [Photos: Getty]

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