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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  November 27, 2009 11:00am-12:00pm EST

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their lives in religion loving and expecting. i am sorry for your situation. everything you said, free choice and free opinion, they have nothing to do with words. there is specific language in the current bill waiting to be passed that addresses speech that is not about speech at all. is it about action. i'm not part of making the bible illegal. i would never do that. free-speech is an amazing thing but does not address free-speech. ..
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>> the audience takes the message away from them and that's really the goal. the criticism, from me or feel, mostly anonymously. but religion is a very personal, difficult to understand subject for a lot of people. and the church is a very painful reminder to many other gay communities that they are not accepted that there. is really sad. it's a heartbreaking situation. the one place you think you can go and be accepted for who you are, and they shut the doors in your face. it is heartbreaking post back
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what was the process like for you to write this book? >> guest: it was hard. i wasn't sure i was ready to do it or ever could do it. it's not something i even wanted to do. initially i had something else in mind. i'm glad i did it. it has been very therapeutic. and has opened the floodgates to many wonderful memories that we have not thought about, not only are reminded of the joy he was in our life but also thinks he is to do that would on no yes. it's been real uplifting and enlightening and funny to talk about him, talk about him in that way. we miss him terribly. we really miss him. >> host: you are on with dirty shepherd. >> caller: this is the first time i've heard you. or ever seen you. i really appreciate what you are doing. i was in fort collins, colorado when matt was in the hospital a few miles away. i went to the homecoming parade at colorado state university. and there was a dreadful travesty on one of the floats
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sponsored by fraternity and sorority. making fun of matt it look like. it went by fast. i didn't understand what i was seeing. and i wandered over to the hospital and just went around the hall praying for matt. i want to thank you for what you're doing. >> guest: thank you, betty. thank you for your call. i should add that homecoming parade, that flow deathly was making fun of matt. and the fraternity who produced that float actually had their charter revoked. >> host: judy shepard, you talk about in the book where you flew back from saudi arabia, got to fort collins where matt was in the hospital. there was a rally or a prayer vigil that night. and in the book you talk about how you kind of resented it almost. >> guest: i did. we had no concept of what was going on. our minds were totally focused on matt and his condition and our family. we could have cared less what
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was going on outside that hospital room. it seemed very invasive and intrusive on our own private lives. you never want your private life to be part of national news, and especially when you are just joe citizen. you never aspired to be -- we were not celebrities. we would've no bite anybody other than family and friends. i don't think we realized it in its totality until well after matt's funeral service. transfer you also wrote that while you at the hospital you received a call from president clinton. transport that was pretty amazing. hospital administered was beside himself with anxiety. he came looking for dennis. the president is on the phone. i don't care who's on the phone, i'm not leaving that. the administrator was going, but it's the president. i don't care if it's the president. finally, he talked us into it. dennis spoke to him and president clinton was very gracious and generous, warm. he also spoke a logan. he has written personal notes to the family. he was really an amazing
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support. >> host: matthew shepard was attacked on october 6, 1998, and died on october 12, 1998. bar, al on nebraska, it just a comment and question. i'm an agnostic, but i think it is fantastic because of the total acceptance of all people. i was really, i thought it was great that you're a member of the church and between that and the unitary churches, i'm really glad that they exist. for the acceptance of anyone. but my question to you is, if you could and feel comfortable, i don't know the circumstances of the murder of the night of the murder, and if you're comfortable explaining what happened that evening, maybe there's other people listening to also don't know how he was murdered that evening.
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could you explain what happened? thank you. >> guest: i will do my best. he was at a local tavern and laramie, wyoming. having a drink by himself. he was befriended by two young men who we later found transpired to pretend themselves to be gay and briefer and that. they assumed he was. they offered him a ride. he accepted. they proceeded to rob him. very soon, according to the two boys, matt turned over his wallet. they still proceeded to hit him. he was in the front seat of a pickup sitting between the two other boys. then they drove him out to the prairie, still hitting him with the butt of a .357 magnum pistol. swinging it like a bat. and they tied him to the lower portion of a bug and rail fence. and continued to beat him. he had 18 wounds on his head and face. for school fractures, the last
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one completely smashed the right side of his lower school. irreparably damaged his brain stem and they left him there that night. they drove back to town. 18 hours later a young man was bicycling, mountain biker, fell and saw matt and call the authorities and they came and took him to the hospital and lenny. then he was immediately moved to fort collins to treat his injuries better. he died 12:53 on october 12. >> host: you write in your book that you have never visited the spot and laramie. >> guest: no. matt is not a. i feel no compelling interest to go there. the land has since changed hands, and the current owner is adamant that he does not want that to be a shrine for anyone to go to. he has taken great pains to post private property signs everywhere and has moved the section of fans that matt had
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been tied to. >> host: where are russell henderson and aaron mckinney today? >> guest: they are in virginia. they will soon be moved back to laramie is my understanding when the current wyoming penitentiary is opened. is being enlarged to accommodate more prisoners. they are both serving consecutive -- two consecutive life sentences. >> host: so there is no chance of parole? >> guest: no, there's some -- if the governor can use one license then the second life sentence then becomes eligible for parole. but i don't see that happening. i would say no. there's a chance. >> host: parole in chicago, illinois. >> caller: yes, thank you judy, for all of your courage. i want to let you know that i have been a gay activist here in chicago as part of a group called cab in chicago anti-bashing network, and we actually got kind of came alive at the time that matthew died.
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and every year we have, you know, a remembrance in chicago. i'm not exactly sure what's going on in this year, but i just want to also let the viewers know about this hate crime legislation. one of the reasons that you want is a crime legislation, both to send a message and to start adding some, you know, some respects like you say. but it's also to create a way to collect data. because all these police departments all across the country don't really have a way to collect data on exactly having accurate information about how many bashing incidents there are. they can always put into some other category, and it's really staring you in the face it also requires society to do more about it. thank you so much. >> guest: thank you, perl. that's absolutely true. many states have state hate crime laws. is no uniform way to report a
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hate crime to go interstate. some states have no hate crime laws at all. so the reporting factor is doubly important. >> host: mrs. shepard, we have a tweak here for you. it is from eric. how does judy handle being attacked as a liar from folks like the gentleman who questioned her in the audience in salt lake city? >> guest: i've never been pleaded before, so this is my first. you know, he is one of those who happens to be my guess and what i fondly virtu as the urban legend, that will not die. was so amazing about this particular position is that is easily refuted if someone just reads the trial transcripts and the confessions that aaron mckinney and the allocations of russell henderson. they stay plenty that wha once n wide, why, which makes it a hate crime, not a drug deal gone bad or a robbery. well, there was a robbery that
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went very bad. but it was a robbery that singled out a gay man. it was a vicious vicious hate crime. >> host: david in washington, d.c.,. >> caller: hello. i've appreciated your work and the courage that you show. i am a gay man in my '50s, and i don't think your entries, but i do wonder who do you think are the best organizations working with parents of children who are gay? i'm in my '50s, so talking about a generation of children that are coming into their own at this point in time. and i'm certainly impressed with your work to work with directly and lesbian individuals. but i'm also wondering about the people need to accept them, and who do you know is doing good work in that regard? >> guest: there's a national
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organization that has chapters throughout all the states, and many international chapters as what it is called beside, they started out many, many, many years ago as a support group for parents and sort of expanded the work that they do. they lobby, work with parents who need someone to talk to, and also work with numbers of the community and try to educate the communities that they live in. the issue becomes parents who are not ready to listen. how do we get to them? i'm not sure there's an answer to that. there's the old adage you can leave a horse to water but you can't make him drink. they have to be ready to listen. it is an amazing organization. >> host: what is the focus of the matthew shepard foundation? >> guest: its education raising awareness. can't really quantify the work that we do i guess, but we also focus on young people. we have a website that that is geared specifically to the age group of
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probably 12 to 20, with new sources, information, interviews. and a wealth of information that lists direct service providers for someone who is looking for a safe place to go, or schools or information or organizations to be a part of. which is really trying to talk, try to keep the dialogue going. we think that's important. >> host: how much time he's been lobbying either state legislators or congress? >> guest: you know, not so much anymore. i'm not really very good at it. i don't have a lot of patience with the lucky one thing and do another. i'm just better time to talk to people and show them how much they miss out by not being involved in a work in a gay community. i'm not a good lobbyist. i have no patience. >> host: have you met president obama? >> guest: i have twice actually. i think he is an amazing, charismatic leader, smart,
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generous, open, educated to the issues of gay marriage. i think is a wonderful and ambitious as is the first lady. >> host: paul in pasadena california. you were on with judy shepard, author of "the meaning of matthew." >> caller: hello, judy. it is a thrill to talk you. i met you a few years ago and i just want to say that for someone who like myself isn't much of a public speaker, it -- you are quite an inspiration to many activists. i had a question, but if that answered actually. but i just wanted to say you are quite a credit to everyone. thank you very much. >> guest: thank you very much. >> host: how may people spoken to, mrs. shepard? >> guest: oh, gosh. i have done colleges and high schools and motivations and rallies for 10 years. got to be in a million area, i guess. pretty amazing actually. i'm overwhelmed when i think about the numbers. i try to just focus on the one
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i'm at right now. so i don't become sort of frozen in time diecast. >> host: where is your husband, dennis, these days? >> guest: he did have a job and he just retired from that. he is getting ready to take a job in australia now. so it'll be an interesting and different part of the world country and you are still based in wyoming? >> guest: we are. where the home there. would have the foundation offices are located in denver. now all this takes place in denver, but we are headquartered officially in wyoming. i never want to leave that connection in wyoming. >> host: and how is your son logan? >> guest: logan is great. he works for the foundation. he loves living there. i think we're all doing okay. we miss matt a lot, but we still have a joint in our lives. it's different now. >> host: fred in burlington iowa. please go ahead with your question for judy tempered commack yeah, i have a mother who thinks all gays should be killed, that harvey milk got what he deserved.
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and i believe that if more people read what you are talking about and watch bill mars, ridiculous, we would have less fighting to. this whole thing about nature and nurture trying to see things black and white, i can see a little available for just about everybody. and so what? someone chooses or someone has a thrust upon them. and lastly, well first of all, thanks for your work, judy. and it's just -- the world would be a whole lot better place if people could just learned that -- well, there's such denial. the bible says at least twice that john was the disciple of jesus loved. well, it was a world. that's the way things were. there's no need to be ended now
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about that. >> host: judy shepard, any response? >> guest: i haven't heard that interpretation but i agree with you. you are who you are. i think nature and nurture plays a role in everyone's life. in everyone's life. you are born straight or you are born gay, or bisexual even. or transgender. you don't really choose who you are in that respect. but i really appreciate your words, and i agree with you also about i think it's a very telling program. >> host: this is the cover of the book, "the meaning of matthew." the next call from west palm beach, florida. please go ahead. >> caller: i'm calling because i have a sister who is gay, and our parents are tolerant and not accepting. i think we both have children. how would you suggest for us to introduce it to our kids to where they are more accepted, our parents?
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>> guest: i guess i don't understand your question. make you more accepting? >> caller: our parents. i think you are not accepting we have young children. >> guest: i see. yeah, that's another one of those arvind ledges that somehow gay people are somehow unsafe around children. unfortunately, that's one of the stories come i can't remember who quoted, it was absolutely not the truth. gay people, they are just people who love someone different. the only thing that is different about their lives at all. they let children the same way that straight people love children. they have their own families. it's not indicative of who they're going to be. you don't teach someone to be gay. you don't recruit them. you can't make them what they are not. and rejecting a child because they are gay and keep them from other members of your family is
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a little irrational. i'm sorry that your sister is not accepted but again, my vices she should never give up. things change. >> host: , mrs. shepard, who is john barrett? >> guest: john barrett was a news editor for the advocate magazine, which for those who may not know what that is, and sirsi gay and lesbian version of time magazine. news entertainment, and heavilyt on the news market i did when i first print interviews with him in march of 1999. i think it was march. and we have statement that we have that intermountain west connection. he was from idaho. and stayed very close friends. dimly ideal for the book came out, i knew he'd work with people for doing this kind of thing, technically he is the writer and i'm the author. i don't know what the distinction is that we worked together very well. he knows the story that i didn't want to start over. i trust him and pleasantly. he would write, i would talk.
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i thank him everyday for his generosity, spirit and patience with me. >> host: tone in montgomery, alabama. montgomery, alabama, you are on the air with judy shepard. please go ahead. we're going to go ahead and move on to rhonda and rogersville, tennessee. rhonda, are you with us? >> caller: yes. >> host: please go ahead and that i admire all the work you're doing for your son, and for every gay and lesbian. in the whole wide world. i have gay friends. it if my son were gay i would shout it from the rooftops. i would love him no different. i think that the work that you are doing is great. keep that up. i don't know what i would do if something like that were to happen to one of my children. and i can't tell you how much i do admire you. i know that, you know, you
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probably go through hell everyday. i hope that these boys that did such a heinous crime had to live with that everyday every day, and think about that every day. i'm not a hateful or revengeful person, but i see nothing wrong with it and i don't think it is a choice that you make and i think if you were gay, you're gay. >> guest: i agree. >> host: mrs. shepard, will you walk through a little bit how the death penalty, how you view the death penalty and how you wrote about in the book? >> guest: well, we were asked by the prosecuting attorney, dennis and i were asked if we had persevered on the death penalty one way or the other. and we decided not to tell him whether we did or not. we felt it was his job and our opinion was not going to be allowed to influence the jury
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pool one way or another. so we didn't want to tell him, and the death penalty in wyoming is still a perfectly viable since with those two charges those boys were charged with. so we never made our opinions known and tell after the mckinney trial. when the verdicts came back, he was definitely eligible for the death penalty, and his attorneys approached the prosecuting attorney and offered a plea agreement, i mean a sending an agreement which was two consecutive life sentences. and we debated about it, and debated about it. and even though denis and i and matt and logan had discussion regarding the murder of james junior that the men who did that, there was no question it was them, or why they did it. sometimes that said sometimes it's just the logical thing to do, the right thing to do. so in this case again we knew who did it. they confessed why they did it.
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it seemed definitely a viable choice. but it felt different when it's personal to all of us. we just enjoy taking another son's life would bring back matt or any kind of peace do anyone. plus, taking the agreement meant that we would never have to deal with this again, no more courtroom appearances, no more mandatory appeals. it would just be over and that's the road we took, just to be over. >> host: we have another tweak here. please ask judy how she thinks she would view these issues, gay rights issues i guess, if her son had not been gay. >> guest: i wouldn't -- i rickettsia. i don't know if i would be an activist or not. we haven't had any issues with accepted in the gay community. i had many gay friends in college, and probably some of my adult life that were not out to me. it's difficult to be out in today's society. i'm not sure, you know, if this hadn't happened to matt, if he were just my gay son i would be
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like the piece lachman making cookies, not the peace flag mom add-on for cameras that it would is a role i never wanted or aspire to. but if my son was that i would still be supportive of the geeky beauty. but i don't know about being active. >> host: if you would like to send a tweet to judy shepard, next in stefani in indianapolis. please go ahead, stephanie. >> caller: yes. hello? i just wanted to tell you that on days when you get barraged like a gentleman that stood up to have you retelling story of matthew as he knew it as that was, i just want to tell you that i have three children that are 14, 18 and 21. and matthews story kind of pushed pushed into a bowl like what you are speaking out earlier, of actually having the dialogue with my children about if they were gay, which we do not have that situation in our family, but of how to be as you
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said not just tolerant but of accepting. and i just want to say my daughter who is now 21, she actually has been -- has many friends that are gay and has filled a void like one of the gentler, how does he tell his parents. she actually just one person who has a couple of gay friends that she has counseled on how to tell the family. and the young boys are seeking the ultimate dire ask of self-loathing and don't know how to speak to their parents. so thank you for all of your work and just thank you so much for being a role model in my life, as a young mother and now an older mother of children that are little ambassadors of the acceptance. >> guest: thank you. all mothers should do that. thank you very much. >> host: sharyl in seattle, washington, you are on with author judy shepard, judy, thank you so much for being out there and a frontline for all of us.
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my concern as a member of the gauging it is the rhetoric that is being used. when we hear about gay rights and gay marriage and gay adoption and coming up in the anniversary of matthew's death out in washington is the gay march. what concerns me is as being part of the gay community, we don't want any special rights. we've never asked for that. we have asked for equality. and how do we bridge that gap where we are not asking -- we know we are not asking for any special rights, but how do we get, you know, the politicians, just all the rhetoric that is out there to stop sending gay-rights, and put forth the whole idea concept of just equal rights? we take our garbage to occur. wee little untracked mow our lawns that we pay our taxes. we do all the things that make us an equal memorizes i did all we ask it to be treated that way. how do you think we can approach that rhetoric?
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>> guest: i totally agree with you. this is purely a civil rights issue in my mind. is just beyond me the way they get away with that. how can anybody and recall that equal. it's not. language is an important part. all we want is to fit in and be the same as everybody else. same job section, same tax rights, same marriage rights and do the people we love. we don't want special. we want equal. and maybe it just goes down to changing the language that maybe it's really that simple. there's power in words. we need to be more careful about the words that we use. we started separating ourselves from mainstream, if you will. maybe it's just that simple, change the words from gay rights to equal rights. >> host: scott in charlotte, north carolina. please go had with the question. >> caller: yes, mrs. shepard. god bless on the tragic loss of your son.
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but i would point out that there are lots of people and even some experts who have looked at the case who said that matthews gayness really had nothing to do with his murder, that it's just in fact a murder of opportunity by a couple of misery into her out for trouble and would have killed anyone regardless of their sexuality. and do that, how would you answer the charges that you have been taken advantage of and maybe have been used by the gay and lesbian transgender community to basically perpetrate that lifestyle on the youth of america? >> guest: well, a couple of things they're. it's not really a lifestyle to get who you are. nobody is trying to perpetrate it on anybody. they are just trying to allow it to be free and equal. and the story that matt gayness didn't matter, and aaron mckinney's confession he actually said it did matter.
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that's how they singled him out. they chosen specifically because they assume that he was gay. it's a stereotype of a gay man being weak or vulnerable or whatever. really those people just need to read the trial transcript and the confession. go see the levee project. go see the laramie project 10 years later where it is specifically addressed why they chose matt. yes, it was going to be a robbery of a gay man pic that's exactly how they addressed it. >> host: wilma, santa cruz, california, you are on with author judy shepard commack good morning, thank you. i am going to be playing you in the laramie project 10 years later here in santa cruz, california, on october 12. and although we haven't received the final script yet, we have a draft. and i wanted to know what you would like me to know in order to portray you without imitating you, but just getting your message and your spirit across. i am very, very moved by the
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book and buy your presentation. and i would just like you to tell me what you would like most for the audience to know. >> guest: well, thank you for being me and the play. thanks for participating in the played by the well at. what you need to know about me is i am just a mom. and i tried to be honest in my story and in my words. there's really -- i'm not that competent person. i'm just simply a mom who lost her son to hate. and i am kind of mad about that i just try to fix it for other moms. >> host: very briefly, what is the laramie project? >> guest: the lemmie project is a play written by the tectonic theater project. they went to laramie, interviewed hundreds of laramie residents over a period of a year or two years. talking about how mass murder affected them and the town of laramie at large, with the media descending on the town did to the town. there are some of matt's friends who are also part of the play.
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and then they are doing -- they went back 10 years later and we interviewed many of the same people and some new people to talk about how things have changed or not change and laramie. people's opinions, what's different there now. is the one on us and most truthful thing that will exist forever about what happened to matt and the committee of laramie. it is not about matt or his family, but it deftly shows the world that those people and then you are a reflection of anybody else in the world. you are one of those characters always, you will find yourself. >> host: jenny, florence kentucky. you are on with judy shepard. please go ahead. >> caller: hi, judy. it is jimmy from florence, kentucky. i was wondering as growing up, did you not know that matthew was going to be gay? or that he had symptoms? because i am a gay male in my
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50s also, and my mom said she knew, and i didn't see your earlier program, but i was just wondering, you are doing a wonderful thing for the gay community. a wonderful thing. and my brothers and sisters and everyone is open in the community. it is great. you are doing a wonderful thing. i saw the laramie project, and your book will go and get it. today. and it's just a wonderful, wonderful thing that you are doing for the gay community. >> guest: thank you so much. actually, i did have my suspicions that i would call them symptoms, but matt was about a. i began to wonder if he was gay. intuition, i actually think all people know of a loved one if they are gay. they all know it right here in the back of their mind. maybe they don't want to bring it for but i think how could we not know. where the person most intimately
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involved with our children. when pears to me later they were surprised when their children came out, i'm thinking no, not really did you always knew. maybe they did know that you knew, but then you. >> host: and could you relate a store about how you found out? >> guest: it's kind of funny. match in a person to be for halloween was dolly parton. and he was dolly for three years and wrote, and a beer at just got better and better. someone once said to me that i was stereotyping being gay, and i don't think so. i'm sure many young boys dressed as dolly parton for completely different reasons. but it sort of planted the seed that maybe i should be paying attention to my precious little boy. >> host: where were you when he told you? >> guest: i was in saudi arabia. matt was a freshman in college and northglenn and he called on the phone to tell me. and i said matt, what took you so long to tell me? and he said i don't get it. how did you know before i knew?
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daytona, it's a mom thing. it was very accepting, no one rejected matt, to my knowledge, than our friends when she came out to the. maybe we all already knew. i'm not really sure, but it was never an issue of where not going to love you anymore. you will not be her son in more or you will not be a part of our family anymore but of course you appeared he was our subject that's responsively as a parent to love and accept your children for who they are. >> host: susan in the lemmie wyoming. you're on with judy shepard. >> caller: hi, judy. i'm glad to see on the program and plan to buy your book. i was a juror on the aaron mckinney trial, and i would like to say to that caller who called earlier to question whether it was a hate crime. that he is absolutely wrong. i sat through all of the testimony and the images and things that caught me to this day. from that trial. i firmly believe that the crime was fueled by hate and drugs, and i think we do overlook the
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role of methamphetamine in that case. and i think the scourge of that drug in wyoming is a real problem. i want to thank you for all you do. and a lot of what you have done is helping raise two young men who are absolutely accepting of other people's human rights. and i have a son who was on a swim team, one of the swimmers came at a comedy was the only one on this woodgate who accepted that boy. and i credit much of what i learned and went through in raising my kids. i'm sorry, i am a little nervous. i do have one question for you. human can have a lot of support from president clinton during the time, and i just wondered during the eight years of the bush administration and specifically vice president cheney and his being from wyoming, what reaction did you get out of that administration and the vice president in terms of the work that you do with the matthew shepard foundation? >> host: before we get an answer from mrs. shepard, susan, could you just give us a sense of what it was like in the delivery
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should in the jury room? trans fat i can't. i have to tell you. this magnified me to people that i was an alternate, and i think one of the things that is hard to be too i like as i was never able to discuss my perceptions and feelings and thoughts about the trial. i've had nightmares that i've had to go to counseling because of things that affected my life. i was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis about a year after the trial, and i believe that stress put a big factor in that. not to get too deep into it, but i wish wyoming would change their laws and allow alternates to be part of the deliberation, but not allowed to vote like california does. very stressful not to be able to discuss everything that happened in the trial. >> host: thank you, susan this is shepard? >> guest: i had forgotten the question of. >> host: it was about the bush administration, dick cheney. >> guest: right. the reaction was absolute silence. deafening silence. it was a very difficult to get
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anything through that congress are even addressed with the president, even when he was governor of texas he was not at all willing to discuss anything that would have protected the gay community that it was interesting, dick cheney had is a lesbian, and they just sort of vanish off the charts in trying to help the gay community. they did nothing. >> host: next call is from kim in detroit, michigan. please go ahead. kim, are you with us? kim? detroit, michigan? please go ahead with your question for judy shepard. >> caller: okay. hi, judy. i was interested to know, i am one of three daughters. i am 50, and we were raised by a lesbian mother, and what i come out with that is that i found out i am open to just about anyone and their experiences.
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i think that having a lesbian mother was a great benefit to my life, because it opened my eyes to the entire world. and made me the kind of person that would never shot anyone or just pounce anyone because of any kind of difference. be at their religion, color of their skin, their orientation, any kind of disabilities, anything like that. i also found that i was generally the person that people would come out to. >> guest: you are safe. >> caller: yeah, because who my mother was. i did get teased in high school a little bit, but not very much. i think because the kind of person that i was. i mean, i was pretty likable.
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>> host: thank you very much for calling in. judy shepard, in a response for her? >> guest: i think that's amazing. living a life that makes you open to everything, that's truly a gift. that's all we should all strive for is to be accepting of everyone, just as human beings. we really don't have to understand, but we do need to accept that human beings. and i would also like to address the question that susan from laramie project earlier about the role of methamphetamines. those two boys were not on drugs when they attacked matt. they were addicts, and had been on them like weeks earlier, but they add the time they were not, they were not using. >> host: judy shepard, back to the trial, you write about your presence at the trials. could you tell us about that? >> guest: well, it was hard. it was really hard you have to listen to the evidence and be
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shown evidence as it is displayed for a trial. they were very generous in giving me previews each day so i would not be surprised by anything in the courtroom. and i was advised over and over, to try and not be overly emotional, do not influence the jury, to give a challenge to the defense that it was too emotional, that i was prejudicing, somehow prejudicial to the jurist alliteration. i tried very hard to be stoic and just maintain a presence that it was important to be there because i wanted matt, people to remember that matt was a real person. the family and friends who loved him, he was more than a newspaper article that he was more than a name on a page, more than a name being discussed and photographs. he was a person with a family and friends. and i had to be there to remind them. >> host: about 10 minutes left with a guess, judy shepard. alice, great and in san diego. you were on gray gray, go ahead.
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please start again. >> caller: good morning i am recovering from pneumonia right now. so please bear with me. judy, you are such a powerful speaker. my hope and my prayer and my dream is that someday an equal rights amendment will be resurrected that will apply to not only gender equality, but through sexual orientation as well. and it may take 100 years, but god, may it happen. and i just wonder what your feelings might be there. >> guest: i am right there with you. from your lips to god is. we lost a cowrites minute because we had a faction in the women, someone one way and some going the other. and i worry will face that again with equal rights for the gay community. that we just have to be, we just have to be diligent and
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persistent that it will happen. it is time. >> host: , in your book, you don't have very nice things to say about your experience with the media. why is that? >> guest: you know, the media is a strange animal. i have had some really wonderful truly terrific experiences with wonderful people and some that have just been very challenging. i don't think the 24 hour day seven-day a week news cycle has benefited the quality of news reporting at all. we talk endlessly about inane things instead of important things. we talk about britney spears and all of her foibles, and celeb is more than we talk about what's happening around the world. those are the things we should be talking about it is all about ratings rather than news and knowledge and education. we need to focus more on that. i just wish it was way to move away from the tabloid deal of news today, and the division of being ultra conservative and liberal, and just go ahead and
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identify ourselves for what we are. that would make it much easier than the constant debate. >> host: andy yen columbia maryland, please go ahead with your question. >> caller: good morning. judy first of all i want to say that you are an amazing, amazing woman and i thank you for everything that you have done for the gay community. >> guest: thank you. >> caller: as a gay man, when mattie died, that's one of those times in life that i can remember exactly where i was when i heard the news and how crushing that it was. but i wanted to know, i wasn't sure are on on a federal murder trial this summer. and one of the things during the deliberation process that most of the federal jurors and myself were looking for from the people that were on trial was some sort of remorse.
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and i just wondered, have you heard anything from the two people that committed this heinous crime? >> guest: i have not heard from them, nor do i expect to. i do know that they do not feel remorse for what they have done to me. they feel remorse for their situation now. but not for the death of matt. i don't expect them. i don't think they did anything wrong. i blame society for creating that environment. to make them think it was okay to do that to a gay man, to any man, particularly a-game and that it would be all right. so i don't expect to hear from them. and i have not. >> host: , i can judy shepard, you account for you ran into an mckinney out of the courtroom. could you tell our audience about that? >> guest: yeah, it was new the end of the trial and dennis had arrived from saudi and we're in
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it the courtroom through the underground parking garage. and mckinney was coming down the elevator, from where they were keeping him. and we managed to be in the hallway at the same time. it was very unnerving, and everyone there was very uncomfortable. the police, the victim rights advocate, everybody was most distressed that that had happened. it was a very tense situation and over very quickly. but it has taken my mind because it felt so wrong. he has a load of emptiness in his eyes, and it was really very frightening, really fighting. maybe it made the understanding in his train of thought better of his eyes, they were just empty. >> host: , marty, pensacola, florida. please go ahead. >> caller: hi.
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i am calling today because my son is also gay. he called on the telephone. he was a freshman in college, freshman in college just like you are. board you are, mrs. shepard your so i felt i had to call in. i've been watching your program, and the cullins, and nobody has mentioned the fact that in 1999 and the year 2000, when george w. bush was running for president that he was prosecuting the gay people and was against gay people, against marriage. gay people will never be able to get married if you vote for me. and in 2003, 2004, he was on tv all the time of long with his saying that if the democrats take over, there will be gay marriage. you know, and i believe the
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bashing of gays started in 2000 as mack 1999, due to the republican party and president george w. bush. what is your comment on that? >> guest: i think the red it definitely made those who are against the geeky nerd already feel justified in the way they felt. and i think it moved many of them forward to commit physical violence or emotional, verbal violence certainly. i am there with you. i think the rhetoric definitely created a charge at mr. against the geeky beauty. >> host: three more calls left for judy shepard. >> caller: my best wishes to you. i am sorry i missed you in san francisco that i am on the phone here with my partner of 25 years. and we just celebrate our 20th 25th anniversary with getting married at city hall in front of city hall when that was permitted. i just want to say what a great
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speaker you are, and your comment about the language people use. i am so tired and so sick of the constant produced that people exhibit towards people they don't understand and don't really want to understand that they just act rude towards them, and i think your idea that if we could teach people to be civil in their conversations and to respect each other and to treat each other with respect and to use words, that if we can just tell people that you are rude, if you criticize people in minority groups, for things that they can't help, that they have no control over, instead of looking at the total person, if we can just change the language, then maybe the people that are bigoted, when they have to use a different form of labor, maybe that will train their brains to be less bigoted and more accepting. i wanted to chime in with you and agree with you that just by changing the language, maybe we can change hearts and minds. so thank you for everything you have done.
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>> guest: thanks very much. we continue to teach those words to our children as a nation, as a society. we continue to use those words and make it seem like it's okay. we essentially teach hate. we just need to stop it and make a conscious choice to not use those words and you just think differently about what we say and do we set it to. >> host: judy shepard, i know you might argue that you preach a lot to the choir because they need rehearsing also, but have you seen, have you seen a shift in attitudes in 11 years? >> guest: yes, definitely. when i first started my speaking at colleges, though students and their families were just, they were riveted with fear and apprehension about their futures. and now when i see them, they are very, very vocal, very out and very entitled to all of the equal rights and determined to get into it and they know how to do that. so we have progressed so far in the last 10 years. the dialogue about the gay community has just become so
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much more luminous than it used to be. we talk about it all the time. in public forums and just, just at the very happening of that is i think has changed a lot. much more positive now. >> host: macon, roanoke virginia, please go ahead. >> caller: i am glad you spoke about coming to college is because i have the pleasure of meeting and listening to you a few years ago. it was the best expression of my college life. so thank you for that. >> guest: thank you for a much. >> caller: also, i actually came out to my parents recently in march actually. i always said i would never tell them intoned in a committed relationship. and i was actually engaged to my part of two years. actually about a month ago, she decided we should take a break, which you know, is difficult but we can do it. i'm terrified to tell my parents. i feel like i'm going to
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integrate any progress that might have been made. there was agreement progress but i'm very nervous to go about it delicately and i was wondering if you had any advice. >> guest: i wish i did. i hesitate to give advice because everybody's been in everybody's situation is so different. but i think one thing you need to manage your family will love you, and you need to show them that you are okay with all of it, that it's just e.r. and there's going to be a standout and really great moment and really sad moments. they are going to love you and they will be sad for you that you are unhappy right now, but hope you try to become happier and a healthy relationship works out. i hope everything works out for you. just be confident in your cell. actually the most important thing. b2 wr. >> host: the last call for judy shepard. >> caller: good morning. so thankful that we have c-span on. i sympathize with the lady here
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who lost her son. but i want to tell you that the thing that happened to me that i am a school teacher in tennessee, and i teach in middle school, and it was in eighth grade boy who came to me one day and he said, i want to ask you a personal question. and it has to do with my family. they believe in gay and think it's okay. and a matter fact, they are catholic and want to know what advice you can give me. and i said, son, really do need to go to the guidance council but he said no, i know you're a religious man. you are christian and you want to give advice. i said okay. i said i will tell you three things that i believe in. i said number one, i believe that nature has a way of teaching every living creature of what it's supposed to do. i mean, the birds know what to do and so does all of the things that go transferred some seed to seed. then i said history has a way of repeating, telling you over and
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over what is the best thing for all living life. every civilization has that it, the further civilizations ahead for what they're supposed to be doing in life. but the most important thing you have to teach you is the bible, son. the bible over and over tells you what god's word is and it tells you the truth. you live by that word. you die by that word. you judge by that word. and the final analysis, if you don't do what the word tells you, son, you are going to a devils held that and of course, i almost ended up in a terrible lawsuit over that. in any case, i thought i gave the young boy and honest, truthful answer to his question. >> host: judy shepard, any response? >> guest: well, you getting your truth and that's what he was looking for. so i guess that's a good thing. my interpretation of the bible is that we are to love our fellow man above all else. and i think that pretty much
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answers the gay question. >> host: and finally what we begin, what is the status of the matthew shepard act in congress? >> guest: it past the house on a stand-alone bill. it went to the senate and was attached to the defense reauthorization bill. and pass along with that bill. that it is in committee waiting to be reconciled between the senate version and the house version. and when it comes out of committee, i'm not sure they will have to vote on it again but it will go to the president's desk. and he has said that he will sign the hate crimes legislation that he voted for as the senator and as president he has promised us that it will be lot if it makes it to his desk. >> host: judy shepard, thank you for being on booktv. this is the book, "the meaning of matthew: my son's murder in laramie, and a world transformed"." >> guest: thank you, peter.
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coming up next to the booktv presents afterwards an hour-long program where we invite guests hosted interview offers offers. this week steven levitt and stephen dubner author of "superfreakonomics" discuss the follow-up. many consider controversial. the best selling authors talk with "washington post" blogger and columnist ezra klein who has written several articles about their book. >> welcome to c-span twos afterwards that my name is ezra klein of the "washington post" that i am here with steven levitt and stephen dubner to talk about their hip new book, "superfreakonomics." thank you very much for being with us today. so to begin, tell me a bit about how we got to for economics that
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you have and one of the chapters a bit about the name. this is one of the big brands in publishing a. but almost didn't happen to go with the other names? >> they are so bad. they are so embarrassing. stack i always thought was that even though it was my idea. e. ray. and it would have to be some kind of character with a big cake with an e. on his back. my favorite that was bad but it was a great bad one, was, we should say levitz sister, linda came up with "freakonomics" that was great because we had this book about nothing but everything and nothing. it was hard to name it probably. so it need have a non-cisco made. her other great terrible name was bend it like that one, which i think you have to acknowledge is so bad that may be the best name. speculative than watching people in the future try to make sense of that. >> or in the present actually. >> it is a bit about nothing and
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about everything. so once the project? once the project of "freakonomics." >> i don't know there's a project exactly. i have spent a lifetime studying economics in my own way. like models and like thinking about percentages and using data to figure out the difference between coalition and causality. the first book and look at cheating sumo letters wrestlers, whether you're in a matter. a set of topics that no self-respecting economist would ever take on, but i am a different kind of economists. i don't know anything about the macroeconomy. but i kept myself busy studying these topics, and somehow, someway to turn out to be interesting to everyday people. >> before we dive into the actual studies here, two things, what is the difference you said you're not a macroeconomist that you're a micro-economist at a quick word on the difference there.
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>> absolutely. economics is divided into bit parts macker economic and microeconomics. macro is not is what most people think of when they think of economics. it's about interest rates, gdp, recessions. and macroeconomics is hard. the economic system is complex. how millions or billions of individual behaviors aggregate up into an economy is a question that really we haven't had all that much luck making sense of. it's made clear by some other reason goings-on. microeconomics is a individual behavior. is a way of saying cannot predict what you're going to do when i put you in a situation, or maybe even easier. looking back, why do people act the way they did. so that is microeconomics, the kind of thing i do. any talk i described almost everyone of them is about individuals or firms and had to make their choices. you brought up his idea of
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natural experience. for a broader audience i like to call it accidental experience. let me take a step back from that. the cornerstone of the scientific method is the the randomized experience or we decide whether the fda should approve a particular drug. we go and randomized experiments that we see how the drug worked in a double-blind experiment relative to a placebo, and were able to just compare people who got through to the people who were not. they were randomized. the difference in outcomes tells whether not that drug works. as an economist, as much as i would love to get aroun carry tt out, i would love to know, to present to reduce crime? but it's not like the nsf is going to allow me to go out and run a randomizes that why lock up a bunch of people in one state and irately released people in another state, and it's what happens. so in that kind of a world economists have had to use what i call accident experiments to figure out the answer. in other words, i look


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