Blachford-Cooper Distinguished Scholar & Research Director

Dr. Gary Gates has been appointed as the Williams Institute’s Inaugural Blachford-Cooper Distinguished Scholar and Research Director. This critical position at the Williams Institute was made possible by leadership gifts totaling almost $3 million by Norman Blachford and Peter Cooper, Roberta Conroy, and Chuck Williams.

Gary joined the Williams Institute back in 2005 as a Senior Research Fellow – he was the Institute’s very first senior researcher and full-time employee.

He is the nation’s leading expert on the geography and demography of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) population. His expertise and advice are routinely sought by federal and state governmental agencies like the US Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and by national polling organizations such as Gallup and Pew Resesarch.  He publishes extensively on the demographic and economic characteristics of the LGBT population. Many national and international media outlets  — such as the New York Times — regularly feature his work.

Gary recently provided expert witness testimony in DeBoer v. Snyder, a lawsuit challenging Michigan’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples. His work was cited in three of the U.S. Circuit Court opinions holding that bans on marriage for same-sex couples are unconstitutional.