HRC Calls on Congress to Protect LGBTQ Students in Higher Education


No student should feel unsafe or unwelcome on any college campus.

Today, HRC called on Congress to pass the College Affordability Act (H.R. 4674) to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. The College Affordability Act includes important protections for LGBTQ students.

“No student should feel unsafe or unwelcome on any college campus,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “The College Affordability Act would ensure LGBTQ students have explicit legal protections from discrimination and harassment, combat cyberbullying, and promote transparency and collection of data around the experiences of LGBTQ students. If passed, this legislation would mark important progress toward making college campuses safer for all students. We appreciate the leadership of Chairman Bobby Scott and Education and Labor Committee members for advancing this legislation.”

As reported by the House Education and Labor Committee today, the College Affordability Act includes the following important provisions:

  • Clarifies that prohibitions on discrimination on the basis of sex include gender identity and sexual orientation;
  • Includes the Tyler Clementi Act (H.R. 2747/S. 1492) to require higher education institutions adopt policies to address cyberbullying;
  • Mandates the Department of Education study best practices for collecting data on LGBTQ students and their experiences; 
  • Includes the Exposing Discrimination in Higher Education Act (H.R. 3555) which requires religiously affiliated educational institutions that avail themselves of exemptions to discriminate against LGBTQ students to be transparent about their intent to discriminate.

The Human Rights Campaign is committed to ensuring all students can learn in a safe and affirming environment.