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Hate Crimes

Matthew Shepard's murder still haunts Wyoming after 20 years

When two roofing workers beat a young gay man to death in Wyoming in 1998, the gruesome crime quickly reverberated around the U.S. and turned the sandy-haired college student into a powerful symbol of the quest for acceptance and equal rights.

But two decades after Matthew Shepard was bludgeoned, tied to a rail fence and left to die on the cold high prairie, the emotions stirred by his slaying linger in Wyoming, which still struggles with its tarnished identity and resists changes sought by the LGBTQ community.

"We're nowhere near done," said Sara Burlingame, executive director of the Cheyenne-based LGBTQ advocacy group Wyoming Equality. The group's work today...

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