Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayChildren’s health-care bill faces new obstacles Overnight Health Care: Schumer calls for tying ObamaCare fix to children's health insurance | Puerto Rico's water woes worsen | Dems plead for nursing home residents' right to sue Schumer calls for attaching ObamaCare fix to children's health insurance MORE (D-Wash.) introduced a bill Thursday that would require colleges to adopt anti-harassment policies to protect gay students.

“Despite statistics telling us LGBT students are nearly twice as likely to experience harassment compared to their heterosexual peers, there is no federal requirement that colleges and universities have policies in place to protect their students,” Murray said on the Senate floor. “No student — whether they’re gay, straight, black, white, Christian, or Muslim — should have to face discrimination and harassment in their pursuit of education.”

ADVERTISEMENT
The Tyler Clementi Education Anti-Harassment Act would require universities and colleges to define and prohibit harassment in order to receive any federal funding. 

The bill is named after college student Tyler Clementi committed suicide in 2010 after his roommate filmed a “private encounter” with him and another man in their dorm room. But Murray said she was also inspired by the story of one of her interns, whose HIV status was leaked during a college campaign.

“Why aren’t colleges and universities across our country being proactive?” Murray said. “Students shouldn’t have to take their health and safety into account when they decide which university to attend.”

Murray said her bill would require universities to clearly define no-tolerance harassment policies to protect students. 

Sen. Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinKoch-backed group targets red-state Dems on tax reform Justices weigh partisan gerrymandering in potential landmark case Dems plan to make gun control an issue in Nevada MORE (D-Wis.) — the first openly gay senator — is co-sponsoring the bill.

“No student or employee should have to live in fear of being who they are. Our schools should not be, and cannot be a place of discrimination, harassment, bullying, intimidation or violence,” Baldwin said. “This legislation is an important step forward in not only preventing and addressing harassment on campus, but also making sure our students have the freedom to succeed in safe and healthy communities of learning and achievement.”

Former Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) originally introduced this legislation in 2013.