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While the machinery of justice continues to deal with the murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student, in Wyoming on October 12, 1998, memorials around the country marked his death on Monday, October 11, National Coming Out Day. According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, the brutal killing of Matthew Shepard was only one of 33 murders committed in 1998 because of the victim’s perceived sexual orientation. That number was more than twice the figure for the same period in 1997.

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