Research

  • sc-pillars

    Friend-of-the-Court Briefs Submitted by Williams Institute Scholars in 4th Circuit Marriage Case

    April 2014

    Williams Institute scholars, along with the National Women’s Law Center and other leading women’s legal organizations, filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in the case of Bostic v. Schaefer. The amicus brief argues that, like laws that discriminate based on sex, laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation warrant heightened judicial scrutiny because, among other considerations, such laws are based on overbroad gender stereotypes. Williams Institute Distinguished Scholar, Gary Gates, also submitted a brief shedding light on the demographic and economic characteristics of same-sex couples and their families in Virginia.

    Read more
  • VA-img

    Estimating the Economic Boost of Extending Marriage to Same-Sex Couples in Virginia

    By M.V. Lee Badgett, Sheila Nezhad, Christy Mallory
    April 2014

    Extending marriage to same-sex couples in Virginia would generate up to $60 million in spending to the state economy. According to 2010 U.S. Census, the most recent data available, 14,244 same-sex couples live in Virginia. Of those couples, the Institute estimates that 50 percent (7,122 couples) would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Nearly 5,000 marriages would occur in the first year alone, and bring up to $38 million in revenue to the state of Virginia that year.

    Read more
  • Estimating the Economic Boost of Marriage for Same-Sex Couples in Oregon

    By Erin G. Fitzgerald, Christy Mallory, M.V. Lee Badgett
    April 2014

    Extending marriage to same-sex couples in Oregon would generate nearly $50 million in spending to the state economy. According to 2010 U.S. Census, the most recent data available, 11,773 same-sex couples live in Oregon. Of those couples, the report estimates that 50 percent (5,887 couples) would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Nearly 4,000 marriages would occur in the first year alone, and bring over $30 million in revenue to the state of Oregon that year.

    Read more
  • The Impact of a Higher Minimum Wage on Poverty Among Same-Sex Couples

    By M. V. Lee Badgett, Alyssa Schneebaum
    April 2014

    An increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would lift at least 20,000 people in same-sex couples out of poverty. The study also finds that a minimum wage increase would reduce the poverty rate by 24 percent or more for couples. Poverty rates fall for the most vulnerable people in same-sex couples—particularly women and African Americans—as well as for children in households led by same-sex couples. For example, among all people in same-sex couples, 7 percent of people are African American, but they are 14 percent of the group of people in same-sex couples who would move out of poverty.

    Read more
  • Estimating the Economic Boost of Marriage for Same-Sex Couples in Colorado

    By Lee Badgett, Christy Mallory
    April 2014

    Extending marriage to same-sex couples in Colorado would generate $50 million in spending to the state and local economy. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 12,424 same-sex couples live in Colorado. Of those couples, the Institute estimates that 50% (6,212 couples) would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Of the couples that will marry, 64% of those marriages will occur during the first year, 21% in the second year and 15% in the third years.

    Read more
  • Same-sex Couples in Virginia: A demographic summary

    By Gary J. Gates
    April 2014

    Based on the 2010 Census, there are 14,243 same-sex couples living in Virginia. The majority of same-sex couples are female (51%). Nearly one fifth of individuals in same-sex couples in Virginia are members of racial or ethnic minorities. Latinos and Latinas comprise 11% of individuals in same-sex couples and 6% of those in different-sex married couples. The portion of African-Americans is 4% among those in same-sex couples and 12% among those in different-sex married couples. Asians, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders comprise 3% of individuals in same-sex couples and 7% of those in different-sex married couples.

    Read more
  • Preschool selection considerations and experiences of school mistreatment among lesbian, gay, and heterosexual adoptive parents

    By Abbie E. Goldberg, JuliAnna Z. Smith
    March 2014

    Lesbian, Gay, or Bisexual parents of preschoolers may be particularly sensitive to family, racial and sexual diversity issues as they evaluate and select preschools for their children. Additionally, heterosexual adoptive parent families may be especially sensitive to adoption-related stigma and exclusion. Early childhood educators should recognize the growing diversity of contemporary families and consider adoption, family structure, and race as important components of curriculum development.

    Read more
  • Race/Ethnicity, Gender and Socioeconomic Wellbeing of Individuals in Same-sex Couples

    By Angeliki Kastanis, Bianca Wilson
    February 2014

    Similar patterns of racial disparities in income and employment exist among individuals in same-sex and different-sex couples. The report also found that racial/ethnic minority individuals in same-sex couples tend to live in areas where there are higher proportions of individuals of their own race or ethnicity. Among same-sex couples, African-American, Latino, American-Indian and Alaskan Native respondents have lower incomes, lower college completion rates and higher unemployment rates than White, Asian and Pacific Islander respondents.

    Read more
  • Lesbian and Heterosexual Two-Parent Families: Adolescent-Parent Relationship Quality and Adolescent Well-being

    By Henny M.W. Bos, Loes van Gelderen, Nanette Gartrell
    February 2014

    Adolescents with continuously-coupled lesbian mothers had higher self-esteem and fewer conduct problems (such as rule-breaking, vandalism, or getting into fights ) than adolescents with continuously-coupled heterosexual parents. Across other indicators of psychological adjustment, substance usage, and relationships with their parents, the study found that adolescents from intact two-mother lesbian families were comparable to those from intact mother-father families.

    Read more
  • Identifying and Serving LGBTQ Youth: Case Studies of Runaway and Homeless Youth Grantees

    By Andrew Burwick, Vanessa Oddo, Laura Durso, Daniel Friend, Gary Gates
    February 2014

    A study published by Mathematica and co-authored by the Williams Institute examines services for LGBTQ runaway and homeless youth (RHY). Focusing on four local agencies receiving grants from the Administration for Children and Families’ RHY Program, it aimed to learn about programs’ strategies for identifying and serving LGBTQ RHY, the challenges programs face in understanding and addressing the needs of this population, and potential areas for future research.

    Read more
  • Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in South Carolina

    By Christy Mallory, Gregory K. Davis, Amira Hasenbush
    February 2014

    Approximately 66,000 LGBT workers in South Carolina are vulnerable to employment discrimination absent state legal protections. Four localities in South Carolina prohibit public sector employment discrimination against LGBT people. Only 18% of the state’s labor force works in those localities, and only a small proportion of those workers are employed by their local governments. Currently none of South Carolina’s LGBT-inclusive local ordinances prohibit discrimination in private employment.

    Read more
  • LGBT People Are Disproportionately Food Insecure

    By Gary J. Gates
    February 2014

    2.4 million (29%) LGBT adults experienced a time in the last year when they did not have enough money to feed themselves or their family. LGBT people experience disproportionate levels of food insecurity and higher participation rates in the SNAP program, especially those raising children, a risk that persists despite possible differences in demographic characteristics between LGBT and non-LGBT individuals like gender, age, race/ethnicity, and educational attainment.

    Read more
  • The Right to Relate: A Lecture on the Importance of “Orientation” in Comparative Sexual Orientation Law

    By Kees Waaldijk
    February 2014

    “The Right to Relate” can be seen as the common theme in all issues of sexual orientation law. This right was first articulated—as an aspect of the right to respect for private life— by the European Commission of Human Rights in 1976, and can be used as the common denominator in the comparative study of all laws in the world that are anti-homosexual or same-sex-friendly.

    Read more
  • LGBTQ Youth Face Unique Barriers to Accessing Youth Mentoring Programs

    By Christy Mallory, Brad Sears, Amira Hasenbush, Alexandra Susman
    January 2014

    Over three million LGBTQ youth in the United States could benefit from access to youth mentoring programs –in particular over 1.6 million at-risk LGBTQ youth. Research shows that LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in the juvenile justice system. They also experience higher rates of family rejection, school harassment and bullying, homelessness, and a host of other factors related to their identity that put them at increased risk of involvement with the system.

    Read more
  • Suicide Attempts Among Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Adults

    By Jody L. Herman, Ann P. Haas, Philip L. Rodgers
    January 2014

    New analysis of responses to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS) shows that transgender respondents who experienced rejection by family and friends, discrimination, victimization, or violence have a higher risk of attempting suicide. 78 percent of survey respondents who suffered physical or sexual violence at school reported suicide attempts, as did 65 percent of respondents who experienced violence at work.

    Read more
  • Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Ohio

    Amira Hasenbush, Christy Mallory
    January 2014

    Approximately 212,000 LGBT workers in Ohio are vulnerable to employment discrimination absent state or federal legal protections. At least 13 localities in Ohio prohibit private employment discrimination against LGBT people, yet 81 percent of the workforce remains unprotected by local ordinances. A statewide non-discrimination law would result in approximately 100 additional complaints being filed with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission each year.

    Read more
  • Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Utah

    Christy Mallory, Sarah Liebowitz
    January 2014

    Approximately 37,000 LGBT workers in Utah are vulnerable to employment discrimination absent state or federal legal protections. At least 17 localities in Utah prohibit private employment discrimination against LGBT people, yet 53 percent of the workforce remains unprotected by local ordinances. A statewide non-discrimination law would result in 17 additional complaints being filed with the Utah Anti-discrimination and Labor Division each year.

    Read more
  • The Fiscal Impact of Extending Marriage to Same-Sex Couples in New Mexico

    By Erin Fitzgerald and Steven K. Homer
    December 2013

    Extending marriage rights to same-sex couples in New Mexico would bring an estimated $20.4 million to the state economy over the first three years. According to the most recent U.S. Census, there are currently 5,825 same-sex couples living in New Mexico. Of those couples, 50 percent or an estimated 2,913 marriage licenses would be issued within the first three years of the passage of marriage equality.

    Read more
  • Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in West Virginia

    By Christy Mallory, Sarah Liebowitz, Amira Hasenbush
    December 2013

    More than 25,000 LGBT workers in West Virginia continue to face widespread and persistent employment discrimination absent state or federal legal protections. Charleston, Morgantown, Lewisburg, Harpers Ferry, and Buckhannon have local ordinances that prohibit employment discrimination against LGBT people, but they do not provide as much protection for LGBT people as the state’s law that prohibits other types of discrimination. Approximately 95 percent of West Virginia’s workforce is not covered by a local ordinance prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

    Read more
  • Gendered Homophobia and the Contradictions of Workplace Discrimination for Women in the Building Trades

    By Amy M. Denissen, Abigail C. Saguy
    December 2013

    This report examines how sexual orientation, gender presentation, race, and body size shape the constraints that tradeswomen face in the workplace. Based on interviews with tradeswomen working as construction workers, electricians, surveyors, sheet metal workers, carpenters, painters, and iron workers, the report found many in the field presumed that all women were lesbians and also found that homophobia and anti-gay slurs were used to marginalize gay and feminine men. These behaviors and assumptions help to maintain the trades as “men’s work”.

    Read more