The Matthew Shepard Foundation has launched a ‘Get Out The Vote’ campaign urging the US LGBT community to utilise their voting privilege.

Writing in this month’s issue of The Advocate Judy Shepard, mother of murdered gay hate victim Matthew Shepard, , called the low levels of LGBT voting ”totally unacceptable”.

”I’m both amazed and appalled. I find it hard to believe there is such widespread apathy when the primary political tactic utilised throughout the nation in the most recent election was the targeting of the LGBT community by tapping into homophobic fears”, she said.

If Matthew was alive today he would ”beg you to let your voice be heard and to use your precious right to vote.”

Mrs Shepard heartbreakingly said: ”It will forever break my heart when I think of my son tied to a split-rail fence, beaten and left for dead on the Wyoming prairie, with no one to hear his voice or his cries for help”.

”But what gives me comfort is the knowledge that his dreams and hopes for a better and safer world continue to live on through the work done by the Matthew Shepard Foundation and by people exercising their right to vote.”

Matthew Shepard was just 21 when he was murdered on the night of October 7th 1998 in a gay hate crime that shocked the world. Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney are currently serving life sentences for the murder.

PinkNews.co.uk comment

With such widespread persecution of LGBT people cross the globe who are routinely denied the voice they so desperately want and need, there really is no excuse for LGBT voter apathy.