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The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act: Stopping Harassment on College Campuses

Today, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) is introducing the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act. This bill is an important step forward in stopping harassment on college campuses. It is named after the former Rutgers University student who, in 2010, tragically took his own life after his roommate used a webcam to spy on him kissing another man and spread links to the webcam stream via Twitter.

The Act would require colleges and universities receiving federal aid to develop and distribute a campus harassment policy that would:

  • apply to harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion;
  • prohibit harassment of students, faculty, and staff;
  • describe the school’s harassment prevention programs;
  • explain the procedures that a student should follow if he or she is harassed; and
  • set out the procedures that the school will follow once an incident has been reported, including possible sanctions to be imposed in a disciplinary proceeding.

The bill also provides for a grant program to help post-secondary schools start, expand, or improve their harassment prevention programs or educate and train students, faculty and staff about ways to prevent harassment and/or address harassment if it occurs.

The National Women’s Law Center supports this Act and applauds Senator Lautenberg for his efforts to get universities to focus on addressing harassment, which so often can deprive students of the equal educational opportunities they deserve.

For information about harassment, bullying, and Title IX, see nwlc.org/bullying.

Comments

March 17, 2013 Dear Madam: In

March 17, 2013

Dear Madam:

In service of the United States Supreme Court, our Sacred and Revered Judicial Institution:

(1) Here are 2 excerpts from oral argument presented by Virginia to the US Supreme Court in 1967 to defend its law making it a felony for a black man to marry a white women:

"I do not say that the author of this book would advocate the prohibition of such marriages by law but we do say that he personally and clearly expresses his view as a social scientist that interracial marriages are definitely undesirable that they hold no promise for a bright and happy future for mankind."

"Dr. Gordon has stated it as his opinion that it is my conviction that intermarriage is definitely (Inaudible) that they are wrong because they are most frequently if not solely entered into under the present day circumstances by people who have a rebellious attitude towards -- towards society, self-hatred, neurotic tendencies, immaturity and other detrimental psychological factors."

(2) Addressing the Actual Issue Presented

Although supporting heterosexual couples’ unintended children may be a rational basis for (1) granting marriage rights to (2) opposite sex couples, this is not at issue. The challenged government’s action is whether it is permissible under the Equal Protection Clause to (1) deny marriage rights to (2) same-sex couples. Consequently, rational bases supporting the grant of heterosexual marriage are irrelevant; such government action is not being challenged as contrary the Equal Protection Clause.

Marriage is not a zero-sum institution. Granting one couple a marriage does not diminish the availability of marriage licenses or diminish the legal import of preexisting marriages. Indeed, the social benefits of having two adults commit to support one another apply equally, irrespective of sexual orientation.

Sincerely,

Thomas Jefferson to H. Tompkinson (AKA Samuel Kercheval), July 12, 1816

(Polygraph Copy Available from Library of Congress)

"I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical means of correcting their ill effects. But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."

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