Fischer, who grew up in Edina, said students who believed he was gay bullied him during middle school. Excluded from social activities, he grew suicidal but concealed it from his parents for several years, he said.
The proposal law is "all about helping students — both bullies and the bullied — adapt in those situation, and to come to a point where everyone is more focused on understanding each other," Fischer said. "It's got to be a culture change, and that doesn't happen overnight."
Sen. Branden Petersen, of Andover, was the only Senate Republican to vote last year to pass gay marriage. But he won't cross party lines on the bullying bill.
"At a certain point, we've got to recognize as a society that the state cannot mandate whether or not an 8-year-old calls another 8-year-old fat," Petersen said. "It's almost, I don't want to say arrogant, but it kind of is to think the state has that kind of power."