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    World AIDS Day Report – HIV Criminalization in California: Evaluation of Transmission Risk

    Amira Hasenbush and Dr. Brian Zanoni, December 2016

    In California, outdated HIV criminalization laws do not reflect the highly effective medical advances for reducing the risk of HIV transmission and extending the quantity and quality of life for people living with HIV.

    HIV criminalization is a term used to describe laws that either criminalize otherwise legal conduct or that increase the penalties for illegal conduct based upon a person’s HIV-positive status. California has four HIV-specific criminal laws.

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    Research Finds Sexual Victimization Perpetrated by Women More Common than Previously Known

    Lara Stemple, Andrew Flores, and Ilan H. Meyer, November 2016

    Using U.S. federal agency data, researchers find that female sexual perpetration is more common than previously recognized. The researchers’ findings contradict the common belief that female sexual perpetration is rare.

    Sexual victimization by women perpetrators occurs mostly against men and occasionally against women.

    The research, published in a paper titled “Sexual Victimization Perpetrated by Women: Federal Data Reveal Surprising Prevalence” was written by Lara Stemple, Director of the UCLA Law School’s Health and Human Rights Law Project, and Williams Institute researchers Andrew Flores and Ilan Meyer and was recently published in Aggression and Violent Behavior.

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    Surveying LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care: Lessons from Los Angeles 

    Bianca D.M. Wilson, Khush Cooper, Angel Kastanis, and Soon Kyu Choi, November 2016

    This report describes the methodology used in a 2014 Williams Institute study on sexual and gender minority youth in the Los Angeles County foster care system . The 2014 study surveyed youth in foster care about their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, other demographic characteristics, and experiences in foster care. In this methods report about the 2014 study, researchers describe the study design and process, share their survey instrument and recommended questions, and review lessons learned from their experience.

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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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    Founding Executive Director Brad Sears Transitions to New Role at the Williams Institute

    After 15 years, Brad Sears Steps Down as Executive Director LOS ANGELES – Brad Sears, the founding Executive Director and Roberta A. Conroy Scholar of Law and Policy, will be transitioning to a different role at the Williams Institute and UCLA School of Law.  Mr. Sears will continue his vital law and policy work at the …

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    For Immigrants, HIV Criminalization Can Mean Incarceration and Deportation

    Amira Hasenbush, Bianca D.M. Wilson, October 2016

    In the new report HIV Criminalization Against Immigrants in California, Williams Institute Scholars Amira Hasenbush and Bianca D.M. Wilson, use California Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) data to explore how HIV criminal laws in California are enforced against foreign born populations.

    Key Findings include: 15 percent of people in California who have come into contact with the criminal justice system for HIV crimes are foreign born and 83 percent of those foreign born were from Mexico, Central or South America, or the Caribbean.

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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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    The Impact Of A $15 Minimum Wage Among Same Sex Couples

    M.V. Lee Badgett, Alyssa Schneebaum, September 2016

    Increases in the minimum wage are being proposed, debated, and passed across the United States. In 2016, New York State and California significantly increased their state minimum wage, and the new rate will reach $15 per hour in 2022 in California, $15 per hour in 2018 in New York City, and $12.50 an hour in New York State in 2020.1 Research in 2014 suggested that increases in the minimum wage could reduce poverty, including poverty among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. This research brief predicts that raising the federal minimum wage from its current level of $7.25 to $15 an hour would reduce LGBT poverty by one-third for male same-sex couples and by almost one-half for female same-sex couples. Almost 30,000 people in same-sex couples would see their incomes rise above the federal poverty level.

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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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    Interactive: LGBT and Same-sex Couple Demographics

    Click here for the full interactive graphic of LGBT statistics in the US.

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    LGBT Aging: A Review of Research Findings, Needs, and Policy Implications

    By Soon Kyu Choi, Ilan H. Meyer
    August 2016

    In LGBT Aging: A Review of Research Findings, Needs, and Policy Implications, Soon Kyu Choi and Ilan H. Meyer, Ph.D. provide a review of what is known about lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) older adults.

    “It is estimated that 2.4 million LGBT older adults over 50 live in the United States,” Ilan H Meyer, Ph.D., Williams Distinguished Senior Scholar of Public Policy, says. “That number is expected to double by 2030. The needs of older LGBT adults are quite different than those of the non-LGBT population. LGBT older adults are sometimes apprehensive of how they’ll be treated by healthcare providers or in senior care facilities. We need to ensure that LGBT seniors will receive sensitive and effective care wherever they go for care.”

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    Dr. Kerith Conron Named New Blachford-Cooper Distinguished Scholar and Research Director at The Williams Institute

    LOS ANGELES —Through an extensive nationwide search, Dr. Kerith Conron has been named the Williams Institute’s new Blachford-Cooper Distinguished Scholar and Research Director. As the Blachford-Cooper Research Director, she will oversee new and ongoing research projects informing an array of issues affecting the LGBT community.   The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law has been an influential …

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    How ID Laws Disenfranchise Transgender Voters

    CityLab
    April 1, 2016

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    For trans Americans, changing your name can still be a matter of life or death

    Quartz
    March 31, 2016

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    Hope Springs in the South

    Advocate
    March 28, 2016

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    How the simple act of peeing became political in the United States

    Quartz
    March 25, 2016

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    GOP Wants Men to Use Women’s Bathrooms

    The Daily Beast
    March 24, 2016

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    Trans Teen: Suicide Rates Rise When Bathroom Access Is Restricted

    The Daily Beast
    March 16, 2016

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    Your Boss Wants to Know If You’re Gay

    Bloomberg
    March 8, 2016

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    Supreme Court reverses Alabama court that denied lesbian woman’s adoption

    USA Today
    March 7, 2016

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