President Joe Biden acknowledged the 25th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s death on Thursday and condemned the nation’s recent uptick in anti-LGBTQ+ threats and acts of violence. Shepard was a University of Wyoming freshman who was abducted, robbed and beaten into a coma on Oct. 6, 1998. The two men who attacked Shepard tied him to a fence in freezing weather. He was discovered 18 hours later by a bicyclist, who initially mistook him for a scarecrow. Shepard died in a Colorado hospital on Oct. 12, 1998, surrounded by family. The two assailants, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, were sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder, but they were not charged with hate crimes. At the time, attacks motivated by a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity did not qualify as hate crimes under Wyoming law. In a statement, President Biden said, “Matthew’s tragic and senseless murder shook the conscience of the American people, and his courageous parents, Judy and Dennis Shepard, turned Matthew’s memory into a movement, galvanizing millions of people to combat the scourge of anti-LGBTQI+ hate and violence in America.”