Dead teen's mom on Collins tribute: 'It made me cry'

NEED TO KNOW
  • Matthew Shepard was killed in a 1998 attack. His death led to a wave of hate crime laws
  • NBA Center Jason Collins announced he is gay in Sports Illustrated article
  • Collins says he wore uniform number 98 to honor Shepard

The 1998 beating death of Matthew Shepard shook the nation. The Wyoming University student was killed by two men who prosecutors say targeted Shepard because he was gay. 

Since his death, Matthew's parents Judy and Dennis Shepard have worked hard for LGBT rights. In 2009, Congress passed the "Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Law" The legislation makes it easier for state and federal authorities to investigate and prosecute alleged hate crimes.

This week, when NBA player Jason Collins announced he was gay in a Sports Illustrated article, he mentioned a tribute he performed for the Shepards. Collins says he chose to wear the unique uniform number 98 in memory of Shepard. The number stands for 1998 -- the year Shepard was killed.

HLN's Evening Express got an exclusive interview with the Shepards about the unique honor, and what Collins' announcement means for LGBT community.

 

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