The horrific 1998 murder of 21-year-old college freshman Matthew Shepard brought the issue of hate crimes against lesbian gay bisexual and transgender LGBT people to the attention of the American people. The Matthew Shepard Foundation lobbied hard along with other LGBT groups and in 2009 the federal hate crimes law was amended to include violence against LGBT people for the first time. In spite of the legal victory however the fear and hatred of LGBT people persists around the world.
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