10th Annual Matthew Shepard March, Sept. 27
Chicago, IL —
Ten years ago 21-year-old Matthew Shepard was tied to a fence in Laramie, Wyoming with his skull fractured and his brain stem crushed, he was left to die.
Russell Arthur Henderson and Aaron James McKinney were convicted of Shepard's murder the following year and are both serving life prison terms.
Shepard's murder put the issue of anti-LGBT violence – and the hate that causes it – on the national agenda for the first time in a generation.
The 10th Annual Matthew Shepard March for LGBT Freedom is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Saturday at the corner of Halsted and Roscoe streets. The march is sponsored by the Gay Liberation Network (www.GayLiberation.net).
The group says "Matthew Shepard was but one of many victims of such violence, and that much more progress still needs to be made for true LGBT freedom."
The event will not only mark the decade since Shepard was killed but will also spotlight opposition to James Dobson's upcoming induction into Chicago's National Radio Hall of Fame Saturday, Nov. 8. Dobson leads Focus on the Family, an anti-gay organization.
"Open, anti-gay hatred is still mainstream," says GLN.
Gay rights activist and author Wayne Besen is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the event. Other confirmed speakers include Tonya Unzueta of Radio D'Arte, Greg Baird of Northern Voice, and Frankie Brown, a victim of anti-LGBT police misconduct in suburban Markham.
The event begins with a short rally, 8 PM, Saturday, Sept. 27th, at the corner of Halsted and Roscoe (3400 N. Halsted), followed by a march through the community.