The visage of an addle-brained and insensitive congresswoman still haunts our memory: Virginia Foxx (Rep.N.C):
"...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,"
This was proclaimed while knowing all the while that Matthew Shepard's mother was in the gallery.
It can be argued, of course, that since the state of North Carolina has been mired in functionally illiterate bigotry for many years, Virginia Foxx was only being representative of her constituents, but would her offensive stance be supported three years later and after thirteen years of soul searching?
The brutal slaying of Matthew Shepard shocked the country and demonstrated to millions what deep-rooted homophobia was capable of doing: murder at the hands of two young men, and
IN 1998 -
- published Seven Steps to Recruit-Proof Your Child: A Parent's Guide to Protecting Children from Homosexuality and the "Gay" Movement (1998)
- flatly denied rights to any scouting organizations that did NOT discriminate against gays in the scouts.
- introduced two bills nullifying gay rights: one withholding federal housing money to cities like San Francisco, the other, overturn the executive order banning discrimination in the federal government.
- was still on a bombing spree that had started with the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta and continued through a lesbian bar (The Other Side Lounge) and an abortion clinic.