Slain student's mother touched by Collins' tribute


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Posted Online: April 30, 2013, 2:36 pm
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) The mother of a gay University of Wyoming student who was robbed and beaten to death in 1998 says she finds it touching that NBA veteran Jason Collins honored her son by wearing jersey No. 98.

Matthew Shepard's mother, Judy, said that she hadn't known about the tribute by Collins, who this week became the first player still active in one of the four major U.S. professional sports leagues to announce that he is gay.

'We're very touched that he regards Matthew as somebody special,' Judy Shepard said in a telephone interview. 'We're especially happy that now he feels free to be himself. We're happy for him, relieved that his news is being received so well across the board.'

While Collins hid his sexual orientation up until now, he said he quietly made a statement for gay rights by wearing No. 98 with the Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards. The number refers to 1998, the year Matthew Shepard was tied to a fence and beaten outside Laramie. Shepard died days later on Oct. 12, 1998, and two men were convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Shepard's killing resulted in campaigns to raise awareness about violence against gays and to pass hate-crimes laws in the United States.

Shepard and her husband, Dennis, have established a foundation based in Denver that seeks to raise awareness about and advocate for gay issues.

'We're on the road to full equality, and it's about damn time,' she said.














 




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  Today is Tuesday, Sept 2, the 245th day of 2014. There are 120 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: It is estimated that 300,000 people attended the recent Democratic convention in Chicago when Gen. George B. McClellan of New Jersey was nominated as a candidate for president of the United States.
1889 — 125 years ago: Alderman Frank Ill, Winslow Howard and Captain J.M. Montgomery returned from Milwaukee, where they attended the national Grand Army of the Republic encampment.
1914 — 100 years ago: Three members of the Rock Island YMCA accepted positions as physical directors of other associations. Albert Cook went to Kewanee, C.D. Curtis to Canton and Willis Woods to Leavenworth, Kan.
1939 — 75 years ago: Former President Herbert Hoover appealed for national support of President F.D. Roosevelt and Congress in every effort to keep the United States out of war.
1964 — 50 years ago: The Rock Island Junior chamber pf Commerce has received answers to about 65 % of the 600 questionnaires mailed out recently in a "Community Attitude Survey" to analyze sentiments of citizens towards their city's various recreational, educational, and civic service programs.
1989 — 25 years ago: The two thunderstorms passing through the Quad Cities last night and early today left some area residents reaching for their flashlights.






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