Stop Hate 2000 Newsletter October, 1999

Dear Friends,

We're hoping that we'll be able to send these out once per month. That may turn out to be optimistic, but for this month, there's no lack of news to report.

     First, some old business. Lee, as he announced on the ihaveforum webpage, did carry out his own personal hike from Casper to Laramie. One of the other participants fell ill, so it wasn't possible to hike the whole distance. However, the group did march 21 miles out of Casper, and the last 21 miles into Laramie, in commemoration of Matthew's 21 years of life on this earth. The people who took part in it say it was quite successful. So, well done, all! It reflects great commitment on Lee's
part, and (we hope) the beginnings of better things still in his future.

     We still have not heard any more details about the hike which the BEAR foundation is sponsoring, and in which Mrs. Shepard is expected to take part. We understand it will rather informal, will take place on October 12, and will go from Laramie to the fence where Matthew was left to his fate. The contacts continue to be Jerry Switzer <> and Erin Uritus <>. If we learn any more details, they will
appear either on the Matthew's Place site or the IHAVE forum site.

     The same contacts also apply to question about the bears which were being especially made for the hike. We know that Matthew the Hiking Bear is already destined for a museum in the area, and the others are still to be auctioned off as originally planned. Again, Erin and Jerry
will be the best contacts.

     Matthew's memory is necessarily going to occupy a lot of attention this coming month. It is grimly ironic that the trial of Aaron McKinney will begin almost exactly one year to the day after Matthew's death, and so there will no doubt be a lot in the news. We have learned that the ineffable Reverend Phelps, or members of his community, will be holding their own event at Laramie, and the less said the better about that. No doubt many events will only be announced locally, but we have learned of the following ones:

     ST. LOUIS, MO. The Social Justice Committee of the Metropolitan Community Church of St. Louis will be holding a prayer vigil for all victims of hate and violence on October 7, from 1:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Central time. Allowing for the time difference, this is the exact anniversary of the time from Matthew's leaving the Fireside Lounge to his being untied from the fence. It will take place at St. James United Methodist Church, 5000 Washington Place. At 7:30 p.m. a second vigil will be held at the same place by the St. Louis Interfaith Alliance and the "Stop the Hate" campaign. This will be followed by a candlelight walk to Central Reform Congregation. Contact telephone numbers are posted by John Todd on our BB. Thank you, John.

     WASHINGTON, D.C. Mr. and Mrs. Shepard, as well as Attorney General Janet Reno and others will be attending the Human Rights Campaign's annual dinner. We have no information about the details, but they may appear on one of the links from Matthew's Place.

     SACRAMENTO, CA. A memorial for Matthew and all who have died because of their sexual orientation will be at 3:00 p.m. on October 10 at Trinity Episcopalian Cathedral.

     KEY WEST, FL. St. Paul Episcopal Church will host a "Stop the Hate Eucharistic Vigil" on October 6. For details contact John Gish <> John is also looking for the names of any victims for a memorial litany.

     WINONA, MN. B-GLAD and Amnesty will be holding a candlelight vigil at dusk on October 12 at Winona State University. For details contact Benjamin Weaver  <>.

     MAINE. Ravensummersong will be having a pagan memorial service for Matthew and other victims of hate and violence on October 12. This group announced it some time ago, and the details are a little vague in our collective memory. Guy Drumm <> may have more details.

     Additionally, Eric Williams is putting together a cybernetic birthday card for Matthew's birthday (December 1). To sign it, log on to <>. Eric is hoping for several hundred cybernetic signatures to this card, which he hopes to send to Matthew's family.

     Undoubtedly, there's going to be many more. If we hear of any more, we'll post them on the IHAVEforum site's bulletin board, and should you hear of any, please do the same.

     Meanwhile, we'd appreciate any comments or ideas about the direction we should take after this memorial month is over.  

The Stop Hate 2000 e-Team

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