To some anti-gay conservatives with an audience, nothing is sacred — not even the memory of a 21-year old college student who was just 5′ 4″ tall, and weighed just one-hundred pounds when he was beaten into a coma, tied to a fence, and left for dead with injuries so severe they were inoperable at the hospital he was taken to after spending the night alone, only half-alive, and where he died six days later, having never regained consciousness.
Yes, Fox News contributor Sandy Rios is at it again.
At today’s conservative Values Voters Summit, hosted by the certified anti-gay hate group Family Research Council, Sandy Rios made the horrific claim that the story of the 1998 anti-gay hate-crime murder of Matthew Shepard “wasn’t true,” and is “a total fraud,” and a “fairy tale” used as “propaganda” by LGBT activists.
This, on the eve of the fifteenth anniversary of Shepard’s death. He was attacked overnight on October 6–7, and taken off life support and died on October 12, 1998.
The Huffington Post reports that “Rios painted a picture of a nation under siege by homosexuals.”
Rios, the former president of the conservative Christian group Concerned Women of America, referenced a recent story in The Advocate, a national magazine geared toward LGBT readers, that challenges the narrative of the Matthew Shepard story. The article examines a new book by Stephen Jimenez, The Book of Matt, which suggests Shepard’s murder was drug-related.
In Rios’ retelling, however, Shepard’s murder was part of a long-term plan by liberals and the LGBT community to create a society that is accepting of gay people.
It is up to Christian conservatives, Rios argued, to stop that acceptance. “We can’t let [gay people] keep breaking hearts and taking lives,” she said, one of a number of references Rios made to her theory that gay men are responsible for the AIDS epidemic.
“You think youth is worshipped in heterosexual sex? It is top of the line [for gay men]. And they like young men, young virile men,” Rios told a crowd of hundreds in the ballroom of the Omni Shoreham Hotel. “You get old and you’re a gay man? There’s so much rejection.”
Rios, in the video below, claims that the murder of Matthew Shepard was “a drug deal gone bad.” She adds that Shepard’s murderers “had sex with him.” Rios professes that his murderers “were gay or bisexual.”
Carlos Mazza at Media Matters reports that Rios is merely repeating the “right-wing myth that the brutal murder of openly gay Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard was actually motivated by drug use and not anti-gay bias.”
Earlier this year, Rios found herself in hot water after comparing the love two gay men feel for each other to the “love” kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro felt for the women he kept captive as slaves. She stood by her comments — and went even further.
In June, Rios falsely claimed that there are “epidemic” levels of “sexual abuse in the male gay community.” She offered no proof.
Our condolences to the Shepard family for having to be put through these hate-filled false claims all over again.
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