Mixed views on hate crime law bearing Matthew Shepard's name

FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2009 file photo, President Barack Obama, greets the parents of Matthew Shepard, Dennis and Judy, during a White House receptio

FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2009 file photo, President Barack Obama, greets the parents of Matthew Shepard, Dennis and Judy, during a White House receptio

This undated photo provided by the Matthew Shepard Foundation, shows Matthew Shepard, left, with his parents, Judy and Dennis Shepard. The murder of S

This undated photo provided by the Matthew Shepard Foundation, shows Matthew Shepard, left, with his parents, Judy and Dennis Shepard. The murder of S

FILE - In this Nov. 4, 1999 file photo, Judy Shepard, left, wipes tears from her eyes with Detective Sgt. Rob DeBree at her side, as her husband Denni

FILE - In this Nov. 4, 1999 file photo, Judy Shepard, left, wipes tears from her eyes with Detective Sgt. Rob DeBree at her side, as her husband Denni

This 1998 photo provided by the Matthew Shepard Foundation, shows Matthew Shepard. The murder of Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student, was a w

This 1998 photo provided by the Matthew Shepard Foundation, shows Matthew Shepard. The murder of Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student, was a w

NEW YORK (AP) — Twenty years after Matthew Shepard's death , the federal hate crimes law bearing his name is viewed with mixed feelings by LGBT organizations that lobbied for it over nearly a decade.

The act was signed into law Oct. 28, 2009, about 11 years after Shepard died. The gay 21-year-old had been beaten by two Wyoming men and left tied to a rail fence.

The act expanded the 1969 federal hate-crime law to include crimes based on a victim's sexual orientation or gender identity.

Since then, some activists have been disappointed by the relatively low number of anti-LGBT cases prosecuted under the law. Others consider it a success because of its role in motivating state and local prosecutors to take anti-LGBT violence more seriously.

A leader with the New York City Anti-Violence Project says the U.S. needs broader change such as "economic justice" and better housing options for marginalized LGBT people.