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Obama Had 1 Minute for Judy Shepard


After an 11th hour urging of “members on both sides of the aisle” to pass the Matthew Shepard Act — in what is arguably Barack Obama‘s only semi-meaningful contribution to the gay community since taking office — the president met with the Shepard’s mother Judy in the Oval Office to discuss the legislation, which passed the House but now sits in the Senate. So how did things go? Well, there’s not much that can happen in 60 seconds. Judy tells the Advocate:

Upon arriving at the White House on Wednesday, Shepard first met with the president in the Oval Office. The meeting was short — “It was supposed to be 10 minutes, but his meeting beforehand ran long and I only had a minute or so with him,” Shepard said. But it was long enough for Obama to assure Shepard that he was still a supporter of the hate-crimes bill named in honor of her son, a gay man who was murdered in Laramie, Wyo., in 1998 at age 21.

She was then ushered to a luncheon hosted by Michelle Obama. “It was me and about 80 other people,” she said, adding that she wasn’t able to speak one-on-one with the first lady.

Although she understands that many activists, like Mixner, are becoming increasingly frustrated with the White House, Shepard encourages people to be patient when it comes to LGBT legislation.

“We are victims of our own hope,” she says. “These bills are going to get passed, it’s just going to take time and work.”