Matthew Shepard’s mother: Bill Clinton got ‘bad advice’ when he signed anti-gay law DOMA
The mother of murdered gay man Matthew Shepard has spoken in defence of former President Bill Clinton for signing anti-gay law DOMA.
During his time in office, President Clinton signed both the Defence of Marriage Act – banning recognition of marriages federally – and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, legitimising the dismissal of gay people from the armed forces.
Speaking to Huffington Post, Judy Shepard – the mother of Matthew Shepard, who was murdered in 1998 – defended the former President’s record.
She said: “I personally think he just got some bad advice.
“I think in his heart, he wanted to do the right thing and he knew what the right thing was, but the political advice was not right.”
She added of Barack Obama: “We knew we weren’t going to get very far with past leadership, but with President Obama it’s been different.
“He’s a leader who understands social injustice, and has people around him who understand it too, so it became just a matter of the right message and the timing.
“It felt to me that when President Obama was elected, like the country was ‘now we have permission, we can actually support the gay community now’.
“The political leadership and the social leadership [before] was all about not allowing the gay community to achieve any kind of equality.”
Judy Shepard is currently travelling to Russia with husband Dennis, to attend an LGBT film festival in St Petersburg, where documentary ‘Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine’ will be shown.
In addition to St Petersburg, the Shepards will also travel to Moscow, where they are hoping to meet with members of the gay community, and with parents who have gay children.