Expert and Informed Analysis of Upcoming U.S. Supreme Court Arguments on Same-sex Marriage

For Immediate Distribution
April 27, 2015

Lauren Jow,, 310-206-0314

LOS ANGELES — On April 28, 2015, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of state prohibitions on same-sex marriage.  According to Williams Institute research:

• An estimated 390,000 same-sex couples are currently married in the United States. The number of married same-sex couples has tripled since 2013.

• 77% of same-sex couples across the country are living in the 37 states and Washington, DC where they can now marry, and 72% of Americans are living in jurisdictions that allow marriage for same-sex couples.

• There are approximately one million same-sex couples (married and unmarried) living together in the United States.

• An estimated 122,000 same-sex couples are raising 210,000 children under age 18, of whom 58,000 are adopted or foster children.

• Same-sex couples are nearly three times as likely as their different-sex counterparts to be raising an adopted or foster child.  Married same-sex couples are five times more likely to have these children when compared to their married different-sex counterparts.

• In Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee– the states specifically at issue in the cases before the Supreme Court – 19% (nearly 11,000) of the 56,000 same-sex couples are raising more than 18,000 children under 18 years old.

• Public support for same-sex marriage has increased in all 50 states since 2004, especially in states that have legalized same-sex marriage.

Williams Institute scholars have filed amicus briefs and served as expert witnesses in many cases concerning marriage rights for same-sex couples, including all of the cases before the Supreme Court.  Numerous courts have relied explicitly on William Institute research in striking down bans on marriage for same-sex couples, including the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits.

The following Williams Institute Scholars are Available for Comment: 

Gary Gates is Blachford-Cooper Distinguished Scholar and Research Director at the Williams Institute.  He provided “highly credible” testimony as an expert witness in the Michigan case, Deboer v. Snyder, in the 6th Circuit, and demographic analysis of Virginia from a friend-of-the-court brief he filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit was cited in the majority opinion.  He is the co-author of The Gay and Lesbian Atlas and a recognized expert on the demographic, geographic, and economic characteristics of the LGBT population.  His work on that subject has been featured in many national and international media outlets.  He holds a PhD in Public Policy from the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University along with a Master of Divinity degree from St. Vincent College and a BS in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

M.V. Lee Badgett is Williams Distinguished Scholar at the Williams Institute.  She is an expert on the economic impact of same-sex marriage and has served as an expert witness in various cases concerning the marriage rights of same-sex couples.  She is also the director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, as well as a professor of economics. She studies family policy issues and labor market discrimination based on sexual orientation, race, and gender.  Her latest book, When Gay People Get Married: What Happens When Societies Legalize Same-Sex Marriage(NYU Press, 2009), focuses on the U.S. and European experiences with marriage equality for gay couples. She co-edited the recent book, Sexual Orientation Discrimination:  An International Perspective (Routledge, 2007).  Her first book, Money, Myths, and Change:  The Economic Lives of Lesbians and Gay Men (University of Chicago Press, 2001), presented her groundbreaking work debunking the myth of gay affluence.  She is also the author or co-author of numerous journal articles and policy reports.

Adam Romero is Senior Counsel and Arnold D. Kassoy Scholar of Law at the Williams Institute.  He leads the federal legal work of the Williams Institute, including the filing of amicus briefs in court cases concerning LGBT rights.  Previously, Romero was a senior associate at the law firm WilmerHale, where he was a member of the Intellectual Property Litigation and Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Groups.  He successfully represented the plaintiffs in Cooper-Harris v. USA, the first case in the nation to declare unconstitutional laws barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages in the veterans-benefits context.  Romero completed clerkships for the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and for the Honorable Shira A. Scheindlin of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.  He received his law degree in 2007 from Yale Law School.  Romero has published in numerous volumes and journals and is the co-editor (with Martha Albertson Fineman and Jack E. Jackson) of Feminist and Queer Legal Theory: Intimate Encounters, Uncomfortable Conversations (2009).