NC Lawmaker Under Fire For Calling Gay Man's Murder A "Hoax"

A North Carolina congresswoman under fire for calling claims that a Wyoming man was killed because he was gay a "hoax" says she should have selected her words more carefully.

Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx said during debate in the House that the 1998 death of Matthew Shepard shouldn't be used to justify a hate crimes bill because it wasn't a hate crime. Foxx said Shepard was killed during a robbery.

Foxx later called her comments "a poor choice of words."

The bill approved by the House would expand a federal hate crimes law to include acts motivated by sexual orientation.

Gay rights supporters were critical of Foxx. Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis said Foxx's comments were "unreal, unbelievable."


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by K Location: Greenville on May 1, 2009 at 09:04 PM
    Tad, the only thing illogical is your argument. The reason hate crimes are on the book is to protect against discrimination. It is not to protect the minorities, it just so happens that the minorities, be it through race, sexual orientation, or whatever are the ones that are being discriminated against the most. Answer this for me: What special rights are granted to these groups? As to the claim that the crime was not based on Shepard's sexuality has not done their research. Kristin Price, one of the murderer's girlfriends, stated that the crime was motivated by Shepard's sexual orientation. To quote: "They just wanted to beat him bad enough to teach him a lesson, not to come on to straight people, and don’t be aggressive about it anymore.” This was taken from an interview in 1998. Then, in late 2004, she later contradicted her own statement, saying, "I do not think it was a hate crime at all. I never did." Classic example of backpedaling, as seen also by Foxx's remarks.
  • by Tad Location: Jamesville on May 1, 2009 at 01:17 AM
    Hate crime laws should be abolished because they are not administered fairly. If blacks commit crimes against whites because they hate whites, hate crime laws are seldom used. Gay on straight hate crime, ignored. Besides these laws afford special rights to these special protected groups. Why should two victims of the same act be treated differently because one was victimized because they were chinese or whatever and the other was attacked because the attacker just didn't like their smile. It is like most other things pushed by minority special interest groups, illogical.
  • by Rob Location: NC on Apr 30, 2009 at 08:12 PM
    Typical North Carolina homophobic thinking.
  • by Biscuit Location: NC on Apr 30, 2009 at 07:08 PM
    Dave from Wilson is right. The motive for the Shepard killing was robbery. The victim happened to be gay. I wouldn't exactly call it a hoax, but it's a good example of facts being twisted to support a political viewpoint or cause. It's very commonplace nowdays to make the "facts" fit what certain groups want us to believe so that they can advance their agenda. Was Mathew Shepard brutally murdered? Yes. Was he a homosexual? Yes. Was the motive for his murder his sexual orientation? No. Was his murder used to advance a social/political agenda? Yes. So rather than "hoax" maybe she should have called it a "manipulation of the truth" It was brutal and it was a tragedy, but rather than being motivated by hate it was motivated by greed.
  • by southerngirl Location: NC on Apr 30, 2009 at 01:29 PM
    Mr. Mackey, Don't get me wrong I'm not condoning what this senator said. I just don't think we should have unnecessary laws on the books. If the current laws for murder are not severe enough than they should be updated. All human life is sacred. It doesn't matter what "group" you belong to.
  • by Dave Location: Wilson on Apr 30, 2009 at 12:17 PM
    She was correct. Using that case as an example is a hoax. He was not killed because he was homosexual. He was killed in a robbery. John Lewis needs to keep his mouth shut about everything.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 30, 2009 at 10:27 AM
    So the fact that this person was killed because of what people assume he did in bed doesn't make it a hate crime? We should be more careflful of who we put in office. They are there to support and protect everyone, not based on what their beliefs are. That was just wrong.
  • by dumb&dumber Location: Demoville on Apr 30, 2009 at 10:26 AM
    GOD said it and HE will handle it,just wait a while longer enough said?
  • by Anonymous on Apr 30, 2009 at 09:34 AM
    So if you are not gay and get killed in a robery, your killer will not get as much punishment?
  • by Jimbo Location: NC on Apr 30, 2009 at 09:33 AM
    I didn't even have to know this representative or read the article to know her party affiliation. If she had been a democrat this "news" would have never seen the light of day. WITN is part of the the "vast liberal" conspiracy to tear apart the GOP and turn this county into a socialist dictatorship!
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