WASHINGTON - Matthew Shepard - whose 1998 murder ignited outrage against anti-gay bigotry and violence - will be interred this month in the Washington National Cathedral.
After his death at 21 years old, protesters attended Matthew Shepard's funeral with inflammatory signs in his home state of Wyoming. His family, fearing his final resting place could become a target, kept his ashes as they long sought a permanent location for his remains.
"We've given much thought to Matt's final resting place, and we found the Washington National Cathedral is an ideal choice, as Matt loved the Episcopal Church and felt welcomed by his church in Wyoming," said Judy Shepard, Matthew Shepard's mother.
The Cathedral says it considers LGBTQ equality one of the "great civil rights issues of the church in the 21st century."
The Cathedral hosted its first same-sex wedding in 2010, and had appointed it first transgender preacher, the Rev. Cameron Partridge, to the Canterbury Pulpit in 2014.
A memorial service on the anniversary of Shepard's death will be held on Friday. His remains will be formally interred on Friday, Oct. 26.