Clinton and Gore respond to Shepard murder 

President Clinton:

Let me also take a moment here to offer my prayers and my condolences to the family of Matthew Shepard, as well as to the community of Laramie, Wyoming and the university. While it wouldn't be proper for me to comment on the specifics of this case I do want to say again, crimes of hate and crimes of violence cannot be tolerated in our country. In our shock and grief one thing must remain clear, hate and prejudice are not American values. The public outrage in Laramie and all across America today echoes what we heard at the White House Conference on Hate Crimes last year -- there is something we can do about this, Congress needs to pass our tough Hate Crimes Legislation. It can do so even before it adjourns and it should do so.

I hope that in the grief of this moment for Matthew Shepard's family, and in the shared outrage across America, American's will once again search their hearts and do what they can to reduce their own fear and anxiety and anger at people who are different. And I hope that Congress will pass the Hate Crimes Legislation.

Vice President Gore:

Tipper and I were saddened to hear of the tragic death of Matthew Shepard.

These senseless acts of hate and violence have no place in our communities or our in nation, and we join the American people today in expressing our sense of outrage.

As we work to make sure justice is done, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Matthew Shepard at this difficult time.