West Hollywood, California (Monday, May 19, 2008) – On June 4, 2008, “Grey’s Anatomy” star T.R. Knight will join the Matthew Shepard Foundation to help kick off National Gay-Pride month with a symbolic dusk commitment ceremony at the famed West Hollywood hotspot, The Abbey.
At 8pm, couples from around the nation will “tie the knot” in what maybe one of the last “symbolic” ceremonies in California thanks to the State’s Supreme Court ruling invalidating the ban on gay marriages.
The event will be officiated by the Mayor of West Hollywood and witnessed by Judy Shepard.
Couples will be wearing the Matthew Shepard Erase Hate pendant courtesy of Love and Pride jewelry designer, Udi Behr.
Love and Pride, http://www.loveandpride.com/, is the first online jewelry destination for people who believe in equality, diversity and tolerance for all.
Behr created the Erase Hate pendant for Judy Shepard, in memory of her son, Matthew Shepard, who was the victim of a brutal anti-gay hate crime in rural Wyoming ten years ago.
His murder brought national attention to the issue of hate crime legislation and was a watershed moment in the fight for gay civil rights.
Behr remarks, “A public commitment ceremony is a great way to join together and strengthen our two messages; ‘Celebrating Love’ and ‘Erasing Hate.'” 100% of net proceeds from sales of the pendant assist the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
Judy Shepard, executive director of the Foundation, said, “Wearing the Erase Hate pendant is a great way for people to express how they feel and promote the values of understanding, compassion and acceptance that were so important to Matthew.”
Adding, “It has been ten years since the death of my son. Although we can not replace Matthew, we can join together to help spread the message of erasing hate.”
Mayor Jeffrey Prang comments, “The City of West Hollywood supports marriage equality and continues to work hard for changes in California law.”
Adding, “We will not stop fighting for our rights as no government can prevent us from loving whom we choose.”
World renowned recording artist Steve Oliver will perform the classic ceremonial march Pachelbel Canon in D major.