Matthew Shepard to be interred at Washington National Cathedral 20 years after his murder

Matthew Shepard – whose 1998 murder in Wyoming ignited outrage against anti-gay bigotry and violence – will be interred this month at the Washington National Cathedral, Fox 5 D.C. reports.

Protesters showed up at Shepard’s funeral with anti-gay signs and his family, fearing his final resting place could become a target, kept his ashes while seeking a permanent location for them, according to the station

“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 his mother Judy Shepard, according to Fox 5.

On October 26, the ashes will be buried in a secluded niche of the cathedral, known as the “spiritual home of the nation,” Smithsonian magazine reported Friday, the twentieth anniversary of Shepard’s death.

The gay University of Wyoming college student was beaten and tortured on the outskirts of Laramie by two men who left him tied to a fence.

Shepard hung there, cold and bleeding for 18 hours until he was discovered by a cyclist who initially thought he was a scarecrow, Smithsonian reported. He died at the hospital days later on Oct. 12, 1989.

The killers, Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney, are each serving sentences of life in prison.

Shepard’s name is on a 2009 law that makes it a hate crime to commit an act of violence against someone for being gay.