WASHINGTON (AP) — The ashes of Matthew Shepard, whose 1998 killing became a rallying cry for the gay rights movement, have been laid to rest in Washington National Cathedral.

More than 2,000 people gathered at the cathedral on Friday to celebrate the life and honor the memory of Shepard, a 21-year-old gay man.

Shepard's ashes had for 20 years been kept by his family in Wyoming, where the college student was killed. The ashes have been interred in the Washington cathedral's crypt.

The ceremony's homily was delivered by the Rev. V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church and a close friend of the Shepard family.

Shepard's gruesome killing at the hands of two roofing workers who authorities say targeted him because he was gay drew attention to the violence and discrimination endured by LGBTQ people across America.

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