• Timeline
  • Honorees
  • Events
Join us as we celebrate

The Williams Institute’s
20th Anniversary

In 2001, we began with a vision of bringing together an interdisciplinary group of experts to study the LGBT community. The Williams Institute has since become an indispensable resource for groundbreaking research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy.

Please join us as we celebrate 20 years of impact and envision the future of research that matters.  




Chuck Williams gives $2.5 million to UCLA School of Law to found the Williams Institute, the first-ever academic research institution focused on LGBT issues.


The Williams Institute submits its first amicus brief in Lawrence v. Texas, asserting that anti-sodomy laws violate the U.S. Constitution.


The Williams Institute Judicial Education Program begins training judges on LGBTQ legal issues. The program has trained thousands of judges.


The Williams Institute hires its first law teaching fellow, launching a program to prepare the next generation of legal scholars in sexual orientation and gender identity law.


The Williams Institute sponsors its first annual moot court competition, the only competition for law students that focuses on issues related to LGBT rights.


The Williams Institute submits testimony to Congress for a hearing on the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” providing research that showed the policy negatively impacted 36,000 gay and lesbian service members.


The Williams Institute submits a report on employment discrimination against LGBT people and provides testimony to Congress in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.


A federal district court in California references Williams Institute research over 30 times in its decision overturning Proposition 8 which banned same-sex marriage in the state.


In consultation with the Williams Institute, the U.S. Census Bureau begins reporting same-sex spouses as married couples.


The Williams Institute publishes research that shows that an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees would protect millions of workers and advance the goals of the federal government.


The Williams Institute launches an international program focused on researching the health and well-being of LGBT people abroad and the economic impact of discrimination.


The Williams Institute releases the first-ever estimates of the number of transgender people serving in the military.



The White House cites Williams Institute research in support of an executive order protecting LGBT employees of federal contractors from discrimination.


California lawmakers work with the Williams Institute to draft a law eliminating the use of gay and transgender panic defenses.



The California Health Interview Survey adopts the Williams Institute’s two-step method of asking about gender identity on general population surveys.


Williams Institute research is cited by the U.S Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, extending marriage equality nationwide. Leading up to Obergefell, the Institute filed over 40 amicus briefs in marriage cases.


The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Colombia relies on Williams Institute research in striking down a Colombian law barring same-sex couples from adopting.


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services cites Williams Institute research in a regulation interpreting the Affordable Care Act to protect transgender people from discrimination in health care nationwide.


California lawmakers use Williams Institute research to pass a law that reduces the penalty for exposing others to HIV from a felony to a misdemeanor.


The Williams Institute releases the first-ever estimates of the number of people who have been exposed to conversion therapy.


Massachusetts voters reject a ballot initiative to repeal the state’s law banning gender identity discrimination in public accommodations. Williams Institute research on safety in public restrooms helped inform the debate.


The U.S. House of Representatives passes the Equality Act. The preamble to the Act includes Williams Institute research on the number of same-sex couples raising foster and adopted children.


Williams Institute scholars file amici briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court in three cases that address whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits workplace discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity.

20th Anniversary Events

Annual Update Conference

The Williams Institute's signature event held each spring in Los Angeles

April 5, 2024

11:30 AM PT
UCLA School of Law
Room 1430

Putting Research into Action Around the World

A discussion of the impact data has on LGBTQ law and policy around the globe

63 min
May 20, 2021

The First 100 Days: LGBTQ Rights, Racial Equity, and Reproductive Justice

A discussion of the Biden administration's accomplishments in the first 100 days and what is left to be done

81 min
April 29, 2021

The Inaugural Williams Institute Impact Awards

Honoring trailblazers who have shaped LGBTQ research and public policy

60 min
March 23, 2021

20 Years of Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders: The Williams Institute’s Fellowship Program

A discussion about the impact Williams Institutes fellows on the field of LGBTQ law and policy

4 min
February 24, 2021
  • Timeline
  • Honorees
  • Events