WASHINGTON — The ashes of Matthew Shepard, whose brutal murder in the 1990s became a rallying cry for the gay rights movement, will be laid to rest in Washington National Cathedral.

Shepard’s remains have for 20 years been kept by his family in Wyoming, where the 21-year-old college student was killed in 1998. His ashes will be interred at the cathedral Friday morning.


Matthew Shepard in San Francisco in 1989.

Shepard’s murder at the hands of two roofing workers who, authorities said, targeted him because he was gay, grabbed national headlines. The gruesome nature of the crime threw a spotlight on the hatred, violence and discrimination endured by LGBTQ individuals and communities in towns and cities across America.

Also this week, personal items including fair ribbons, notebooks and homework assignments were donated to the Smithsonian Museum.

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