Virginia Foxx - The Matthew Shepard Crime

Last Updated : Sep 19, 2012


In April of 2009, Congresswoman Foxx spoke on the House floor in oppositionm to the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which was also known by Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Act in honor of two men recently killed. In that speech, the Congresswoman asserted that such crimes were to be handled by the states, and that furhter federal involvement would only cloud the issues. She objected to several terms in the legislation that she saw as undefined, including the use of the word "perceived" in defining a person's intent to commit a hate crime.

In the course of that speech, Congresswoman Foxx also asserted that Matthew Shepard was killed in the course of a robbery and that it was a hoax that he was killed for no other reason other than because he was gay.

It is true that Mr Shepard was killed by two men who first robbed him. It is also true that those men singled him out because they believed he was gay and used this to lure him from a nightclub. However, Mr Shephard was not merely robbed and murdered, but was also tied to fence post in the cold of Wyoming. The focus of the hate crimes legislation dealt more with the muder aspect than the robbery aspect of the crime.

Since that time, Congresswoman Foxx has issued an apology and wrote a letter to Matthew Shepard's mother. She asserted that she was speakiing off the cuff and that "hoax" was a poor choice of words. PoliGu has not been able to find those statements or the letter. If you are aware of where we can find any of those items, please us the tip bar to let us know.


Floor Statements

On April 29, 2009, Congresswoman Foxx spoke on the House floor concerning the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. In that speech, she discusses the use of the word "perceived" and other items in the legislation that she believes will create problems for law enforcement. She also asserts that the Shephard case was actually a robbery.


[1] Website: Journal Now Article: Foxx sends note of apology to gay man's mother Author: Wesley Young Accessed on: 09/19/2012

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