Transgender Issues

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    Scholars who Study the Transgender Population File Amici Brief in HB2 Appeal

    Williams Institute and other scholars who study the transgender population filed an amici curiae brief in Carcaño v. McCrory, the first litigation over North Carolina’s House Bill 2 (HB2) to reach the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  In this appeal, the court will consider the constitutionality of Part I of HB2, which …

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    Adults Who Identify as Transgender are More Racially and Ethnically Diverse than the U.S. General Population

    Andrew R. Flores, Taylor N. T. Brown, and Jody L. Herman October 2016

    Adults who identify as transgender are more racially and ethnically diverse than the U.S. population overall, according to a new study released by The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. This study is the first to provide estimates of the racial and ethnic make-up of adults who identify as transgender in each of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia.

    Researchers estimate that adults who identify as transgender are less likely to be white and more likely to be racial and ethnic minorities when compared to the U.S. general population. Adults who identify as African-American or black, Latino or Hispanic, and adults of another race or ethnicity are more likely than white adults to identify as transgender.

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    Strict Voter ID Laws May Disenfranchise More Than 34,000 Transgender Voters in the 2016 November Election

    Jody L. Herman, September 2016

    Eight states’ voter ID laws may create substantial barriers to voting and possible disenfranchisement for tens of thousands of transgender voters this election. In Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin, about 112,000 transgender people who have transitioned are estimated to be eligible to vote—34,000 of them may face barriers to voting this November due to strict ID laws.

    According to a new study entitled, The Potential Impact of Voter Identification Laws on Transgender Voters in the 2016 General Election authored by Williams Institute Scholar Jody L. Herman, Ph.D., many transgender people who have transitioned do not have identification that accurately reflects their correct gender.

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    Model Legislation for Eliminating the Gay and Trans Panic Defenses

    By Jordan Blair Woods, Brad Sears, Christy Mallory
    September 2016

    “Gay panic” and “transgender panic” defenses have been asserted by defendants in criminal trials throughout the U.S. since the 1960s. In these cases, defendants have argued that their violent behavior was a rational response to discovering that the victim was LGBT. The defenses are rooted in irrational fears based on homophobia and transphobia, and send the message that violence against LGBT people is understandable and acceptable. When successful, these defenses have resulted in murder charges being reduced to manslaughter or another lesser offense.

    To date, only one state, California, has banned defendants from asserting gay or transgender panic defense by statute. In this brief, Williams Institute scholars present model language, based on the language adopted in California, that other states may use to eliminate use of the defenses through legislation. The model legislation offers language to prohibit defendants from using gay and trans panic defenses under each of the major defenses theories of provocation, insanity/diminished capacity, and self-defense. In addition, the brief provides an overview of the ways in which the defenses have been asserted in trials throughout the last several decades, and evaluates potential constitutional challenges to state legislation eliminating use of the defenses.

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    How Many Adults Identify as Transgender in the United States

    By Andrew R. Flores, Jody L. Herman, Gary J. Gates, and Taylor N. T. Brown
    June 2016

    Utilizing data from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), which includes representative state-level surveys, Williams Institute scholars provide up-to-date estimates of the percentage and number of adults who identify as transgender in the United States. Approximately 0.6% of adults in the United States, or 1.4 million individuals, identify as transgender.

    The study also provides the first ever state-level estimates of the number and percentage of adults who identify as transgender for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Differences exist in the percentage of adults who identify as transgender among the states, ranging from 0.3% in North Dakota to 0.8% in Hawaii. Differences by age also exist, with younger adults more likely to identify as transgender than older adults. An estimated 0.7% of adults ages 18 to 24, 0.6% of adults ages 25 to 64, and 0.5% of adults ages 65 and older identify as transgender.

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    Discrimination, Diversity, and Development: The Legal and Economic Implications of North Carolina’s HB2

    By Christy Mallory and Brad Sears
    May 2016

    This report considers the legal and economic implications of North Carolina’s HB2. After considering the size of the LGBT population in North Carolina, and the legal landscape and social climate they face, this report estimates that HB2 directly puts at risk almost $5 billion just in terms of federal funding and business investment. In addition, HB2 contributes to a challenging environment for LGBT people that potentially costs the state tens to hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

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    The Fiscal Impact of Washington State Initiative Measure 1515

    By Amira Hasenbush, Christy Mallory, and Brad Sears
    May 2016

    A ballot initiative in Washington State that would restrict access to restrooms based on biological sex would impact an estimated 26,400 transgender people in the state, and could put at risk up to $4.5 billion in annual federal funding to schools and other state and local government entities. The initiative is in conflict with the gender identity non-discrimination requirements under several federal laws including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Executive Order 13672, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, the Violence Against Women Act, the Affordable Care Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Housing Act of 1949. Federal agencies that enforce the laws are authorized to suspend or terminate funding if recipients violate the non-discrimination requirements.

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    The Fiscal Impact of North Carolina’s HB2

    By Christy Mallory and Brad Sears
    May 2016

    North Carolina’s law restricting access to restrooms based on sex listed on an individual’s birth certificate impacts an estimated 37,800 transgender people in the state, and puts at risk $4.8 billion in federal funding to state and local government entities. The law is in conflict with the gender identity non-discrimination requirements under several federal laws including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Executive Order 13672, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, the Violence Against Women Act, the Affordable Care Act, the Equal Access Rule, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Federal agencies that enforce the laws are authorized to suspend or terminate funding if recipients violate the non-discrimination requirements.

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    The Fiscal Impact of Tennessee House Bill 2414

    By Christy Mallory, Brad Sears and Christopher Carpenter
    April 2016

    Tennessee House Bill 2414 requires public educational institutions to restrict students’ use of restrooms according to the sex assigned on their birth certificates. This policy is in conflict with several federal laws, and, if enacted, could lead to loss of federal funding, administrative enforcement proceedings, and litigation, which could result in costs and lost revenue to the State of Tennessee. This report estimates the number of transgender youth and adults in Tennessee and the amount of federal funding the state could stand to lose if the legislation were passed.

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    Voter ID Laws and Their Added Costs for Transgender Voters

    By Taylor N.T. Brown and Jody Herman
    March 2016

    There are ten states that require voters to provide photo identification in order to vote at the polls and mandate that those who do not do so undertake additional steps to ensure their vote is counted. Transgender people who are residents of these states with strict photo identification requirements for voting may face unique challenges when voting at the polls. To ensure that they are able to vote at the polls, potential voters need to make sure that their appearance, photo ID, and voter registration information match. In this report, we examine in detail the additional steps and costs that transgender people may encounter in order to vote at the polls in states with the strictest photo identification laws.

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    LGB within the T: Sexual Orientation in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey and Implications for Public Policy

    By Jody Herman
    March 2016

    This book chapter examines sexual orientation and discrimination experienced by transgender people, using data from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey. This study explores how respondents to the NTDS identified their sexual orientation, how those responses differ based on demographic variables (e.g. age, race, and gender), and how respondents’ experiences of discrimination and outcomes differ based on sexual orientation.

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    Estimates of Transgender Populations in States with Legislation Impacting Transgender People

    By Jody L. Herman, Christy Mallory, and Bianca D.M. Wilson

    Nearly 300,000 transgender youth and adults may be negatively impacted by legislation introduced in 15 states. These bills would limit access to single-sex restrooms and locker rooms at schools and in public places; limit protections based on gender identity; permit individuals and businesses to discriminate against transgender people based on religious and moral beliefs; and limit the ability to change certain vital records documents, such as birth certificates, or enforce the use of birth certificates to establish an individual’s sex for certain purposes. The report includes a brief description of each bill, which age groups it would affect, and how many transgender people we estimate live in each state.

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    Transgender inclusion in state non-discrimination policies: The democratic deficit and political powerlessness

    By Andrew Flores, Jody Herman and Christy Mallory
    December 2015

    We find that there is a substantial democratic deficit regarding the inclusion of gender identity or transgender in employment non-discrimination policies. On average, state support for the policy must be 81% in order for the state to have a policy reflecting such sentiment. This leaves substantial implications for the political powerlessness of transgender people in the political process.

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    The Legal Needs of Transgender Women Living with HIV: Evaluating Access to Justice in Los Angeles

    By Ayako Miyashita, Amira Hasenbush, and Brad Sears
    November 2015

    This report summarizes findings of the Legal Assessment of Needs Study (“LeAN Study”) – an online survey with 387 respondents who identified as people living with HIV/AIDS – for transgender women living with HIV in Los Angeles County. We describe respondents’ legal needs, respondents’ experiences getting assistance for identified legal needs from both legal and non-legal sources, and barriers respondents faced in accessing assistance from both legal and non-legal sources. We describe differences and similarities between transgender women and all other respondents. Finally, we discuss how these legal needs may relate to health access and health status.

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    Attitudes toward Transgender Rights: Perceived Knowledge and Secondary Interpersonal Contact

    By Andrew R. Flores
    June 2015

    This study examines public attitudes about transgender rights in the USA. It finds that as respondents report being more informed about transgender people they tend to have more supportive attitudes. Interpersonal contact with someone who is lesbian or gay also leads to a secondary transfer of positive attitudes. About half of the secondary transfer effect operates through a mechanism of attitude generalization: contact positively affects the opinions people have on gay rights that then broaden to affect attitudes on transgender rights.

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    Making Transgender Count

    By Jody Herman, Andrew Flores, et al.
    February 2015

    The February 2015 edition of Transgender Studies Quarterly includes two articles co-authored by Williams Institute researchers. TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly offers a high-profile venue for innovative research and scholarship that contest the objectification, pathologization, and exoticization of transgender lives. It will publish interdisciplinary work that explores the diversity of gender, sex, sexuality, embodiment, and identity in ways that have not been adequately addressed by feminist and queer scholarship.

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    The Cost of Employment Discrimination against Transgender Residents of Florida

    By Taylor N.T. Brown and Jody Herman
    April 2015

    The State of Florida spends more than a half million dollars each year as the result of employment discrimination against transgender residents. Currently, 10 counties and 14 cities in Florida have ordinances prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity in public and private sector employment, but nearly 22,000 transgender adult residents are not covered by these laws. Employment discrimination against transgender adults in Florida costs the state an estimated $570,000 annually in state Medicaid expenditures alone.

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    TransPop: U.S. Transgender Population Health Survey

    By Ilan H. Meyer, Walter O. Bockting, Jody L. Herman, Sari K. Reisner

    The study will be the first national probability sample of transgender individuals in the U.S. and thus will be provide a more accurate and detailed picture of the issues faced by transgender people. The study will provide researchers and policy makers with unbiased estimates about demographics, health outcomes and well-being, and health care needs of the transgender population, which will be crucial for designing evidence-based public health and policy interventions.

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    Transgender Parenting: A Review of Existing Research

    By Rebecca L. Stotzer, Jody L. Herman, Amira Hasenbush
    October 2014

    This report reviews the existing research on the prevalence and characteristics of transgender people who are parents, the quality of relationships between transgender parents and their children, outcomes for children with a transgender parent, and the reported needs of transgender parents. Based on their review, the authors recommend further research on the many facets of transgender parents’ lives, including research on the impact of discrimination on transgender parents and their families.

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    Testimony: California Legislature Assembly Bill AB 2501

    By Jordan Blair Woods
    September 2014

    On September 27, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 2501, legislation that prohibits the use of “gay panic” and “transgender panic” defenses to reduce murder charges to manslaughter in criminal trials. The passage of this bill makes California the first state in the country to prohibit the use of gay and transgender panic defenses through legislation. AB 2501 ensures that defendants cannot use gay and transgender panic defenses in an attempt to lower a charge from murder to manslaughter or to escape conviction in California.

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