Research

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    Media Advisory: Fact Sheet on Guidance Protecting Over 350,000 Transgender Youth and Young Adults From Discrimination

    News outlets are reporting that the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice will withdraw legal guidance that protects over 350,000 transgender youth and young adults in the United States from discrimination in education. The Williams Institute is providing this fact sheet to assist with reporting on the issue. Williams Institute scholars are available for comment.

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    There are Over 75,000 LGBT DREAMers; 36,000 Have Participated in DACA

    Kerith Conron and Taylor N.T. Brown, February 2017

    The Williams Institute estimates that there are over 75,000 LGBT DREAMers in the U.S. and over 36,000 have participated in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), including 24,000 who renewed in the program. DACA allowed undocumented immigrants who entered the United States before the age of 16, and met other requirements, temporary work authorization and protection from deportation for a renewable two-year period.

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    94,700 LGBT Workers in Tennessee Lack Statewide Protections Against Ongoing Employment Discrimination

    Christy Mallory and Brad Sears, February 2017

    Adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s existing non-discrimination law would protect these workers, and would not be costly or burdensome for the state to enforce.

    Approximately 94,700 LGBT workers in Tennessee are vulnerable to employment discrimination absent explicit statewide legal protections.

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    Incarceration Rate of LGB People Three Times the General Population

    Ilan H. Meyer, PhD, Andrew R. Flores, PhD, Lara Stemple, JD, Adam P. Romero, JD, Bianca D.M. Wilson, PhD, and Jody L. Herman, PhD., February 2017

    A new study by scholars at the Williams Institute found that sexual minorities are incarcerated at disproportionately high rates, and once incarcerated they are more likely to experience mistreatment, harsh punishment, and sexual victimization. Approximately 238,000 sexual minorities are incarcerated in the United States. The nationwide incarceration rate of sexual minorities was previously unknown.

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    Scholars File Amici Brief On Transgender Youth

    On January 30, 2017, 62 scholars who study the transgender population–many of whom are affiliated with the Williams Institute–filed an amici curiae brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Whitaker v. Kenosha School District.  The appeal concerns a transgender student’s access to facilities consistent with his gender identity.  In their …

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    Stigma and Discrimination Against LGBT People in Georgia Negatively Impact 300,000 LGBT Adults and 58,200 LGBT Youth in the State

    Christy Mallory, Brad Sears, Eric R. Wright & Kerith Conron, January 2017

    Georgia’s unsupportive legal landscape and social climate contribute to an environment in which LGBT people are at risk of discrimination and harassment, with costs estimated in the hundreds of millions.

    This study estimated costs related to discrimination against LGBT people in employment and other settings; to bullying and family rejection of LGBT youth; and to health disparities resulting from a challenging climate for LGBT people. The study drew upon state-level data to estimate some of the cost savings that would result if Georgia were to move towards creating a more accepting environment for its 300,000 LGBT adults and 58,200 LGBT youth.

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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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    If Passed, Virginia House Bill 1612 Would Negatively Impact 34,500 Transgender Adults and Thousands of Transgender Youth

    On January 11, a Virginia lawmaker offered House Bill 1612 (HB 1612), which would require transgender people to use bathrooms in public schools, government buildings, and public universities based on “sex,” as determined by one’s “original birth certificate.” Additionally, the bill would require schools to inform parents or guardians within 24 hours if their child seeks “to be recognized or treated as the opposite sex, to use a name or pronouns inconsistent with the child’s sex, or to use a restroom or changing facility designated for the opposite sex.”

    HB 1612 would negatively impact over 34,000 transgender adults in Virginia. Virginia ranks 24th in the United States in terms of adults who identify as transgender (0.55 percent) and over 40 percent of transgender adults in Virginia are People of Color, including 25 percent who identify as non-Hispanic Black or African-American and 10 percent who identify as Hispanic or Latino.

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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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    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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    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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    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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    Missed the Blood Equality Panel at the Hammer Museum? We Have It Videotaped.

    Blood Equality November 22, 2016 7:30pm Co-presented by the Hammer Museum WATCH VIDEO PRESENTATION In advance of December 1st, World AIDS Day, this  panel examined the FDA’s ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, which currently requires celibacy for one year before donating.* Panelists included Brad Sears, Associate Dean and Executive Director of the Williams Institute …

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