Experts

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    Nancy Polikoff, Visiting Scholar

    Nancy Polikoff is a Williams Institute Visiting Scholar, Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law and Visiting Professor of Law at UCLA Law School. At the American University Washington College of Law, she teaches Family Law and a seminar on Children of LGBT Parents. From Fall 2011 through Fall 2012, she was the Visiting …

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    New Estimates Show that 150,000 Youth Ages 13 to 17 Identify as Transgender in the US

    Jody L. Herman, Andrew R. Flores, Taylor N. T. Brown, Bianca D.M. Wilson, and Kerith J. Conron, January 2017

    An estimated 0.7 percent of youth ages 13 to 17, or 150,000 youth, identify as transgender in the United States, according to a new study released by The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. This study is the first to provide population estimates for youth who identify as transgender in each of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia.

    The study provides new estimates of the age composition of individuals who identify as transgender in the U.S. and estimates of the size of the transgender-identified population by age group. The youngest age group, 13 to 17, has the highest estimated percentage of individuals who identify as transgender.

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    Public Opinion on Transgender Rights: A Twenty-Three Country Survey

    Andrew R. Flores, Taylor N.T. Brown, and Andrew S. Park, December 2016

    Transgender rights have emerged as a central feature in the discourse on LGBT rights in many countries; however, little is known about public support for such rights around the globe. This report presents findings from a ground-breaking survey of 17,105 adults across 23 countries about their attitudes towards transgender people and rights.

    This study provides evidence of high levels of support for transgender rights, as well as instances of strong opposition.

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    Scholars File Amici Brief On Constitutionality of Mississippi Statute

    On December 22, 2016, 82 scholars who study the LGBT population–many of whom are affiliated with the Williams Institute–filed an amici curiae brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Barber v. Bryant and Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant. These appeals concern the constitutionality of Mississippi’s House Bill 1523, which elevates three anti-LGBT religious beliefs …

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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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    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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    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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    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

    A new study suggests that for some immigrants, an HIV-specific criminal offense may have been the triggering event for their deportation proceedings. In “HIV Criminalization Against Immigrants in California,” Williams Institute Scholars Amira Hasenbush and Bianca D.M. Wilson, explore how HIV criminal laws are enforced in California, particularly against foreign born populations.

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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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    $15 Wage Would Lift Nearly 30,000 People In Same Sex Couples Out of Poverty

    A new study out today shows that poverty remains a significant problem for LGBT people and that a $15 minimum wage would reduce poverty substantially for LGBT people. In “The Impact of a $15 Minimum Wage on Poverty Among Same Sex Couples,” researchers M.V. Lee Badgett and Alyssa Schneebaum draw on data on same-sex couples to show the effect of a higher minimum wage on that segment of the LGBT community. Raising the federal minimum wage from its current level of $7.25 to $15 an hour would reduce LGBT poverty dramatically.

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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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    The Williams Institute Releases New Report on LGBT Older Adults Highlighting Isolation, Discrimination,

    “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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    Michael Allan, Administrative and Events Coordinator

    Michael Allan is the Administrative and Events Coordinator at the Williams Institute.  Before joining the team in 2016, he worked as a Budget Manager and Student Affairs Liaison at the University of Southern California, a position which included a large amount of event planning, and at the University of the Pacific’s School of Dentistry in …

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    February 9 – Winter Salon in DC

    Click Here to RSVP to the Winter Salon. Deadline to RSVP is February 7. We are no longer accepting RSVPs for this event. 

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    Food Insecurity and SNAP Participation in the LGBT Community

    By Taylor N.T. Brown, Adam P. Romero, and Gary J. Gates
    July 2016

    This study analyzes the extent of food insecurity experiences and participation in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) among LGBT adults and adults in same-sex couples. Using data from four representative, population-based surveys the authors find higher rates of these experiences among LGBT adults and adults in same-sex couples than among non-LGBT adults and adults in different-sex couples.

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

    By Amira Hasenbush, Ayako Miyashita, and Brad Sears
    July 2016

    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 cisgender 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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