This page contains state-specific research for the state of Virginia:
- Christy Mallory, Taylor N.T. Brown, Brad SearsJanuary 2020Virginia’s legal landscape puts the state’s 257,000 LGBT adults and 50,400 LGBT youth at risk of discrimination and harassment.
- Jody L. Herman, Taylor N.T. BrownAugust 2018Strict voter ID laws may present a barrier to voting for 78,000 transgender people who do not have identification that reflects their correct gender.
- Shoshana Goldberg, Kerith ConronJune 2018Up to 21,000 uninsured LGBT adults, ages 18-64, could gain access to health insurance under Virginia’s recent Medicaid expansion.
If Passed, Virginia House Bill 1612 Would Negatively Impact 34,500 Transgender Adults and Thousands of Transgender YouthOn 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.
- By Jordan Blair Woods, Brad Sears, Christy MallorySeptember 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.
- By Andrew R. Flores, Jody L. Herman, Gary J. Gates, and Taylor N. T. BrownJune 2016Utilizing data from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), which includes representative state-level surveys, Williams Institute scholars provide up-to-date estimates of the percentage and number of adults who identify as transgender in the United States. Approximately 0.6% of adults in the United States, or 1.4 million individuals, identify as transgender. The study also provides the first ever state-level estimates of the number and percentage of adults who identify as transgender for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Differences exist in the percentage of adults who identify as transgender among the states, ranging from 0.3% in North Dakota to 0.8% in Hawaii. Differences by age also exist, with younger adults more likely to identify as transgender than older adults. An estimated 0.7% of adults ages 18 to 24, 0.6% of adults ages 25 to 64, and 0.5% of adults ages 65 and older identify as transgender.
- By Christy Mallory, Andrew Flores and Brad SearsMarch 2016Christy Mallory, Andrew Flores and Brad Sears head to Asheville, North Carolina, to the LGBT in the South Conference to discuss the Williams Institute's research on LGBT demographics and discrimination in the Southern states. Thirty-five percent of the LGBT population in the United States lives in the South, where they are more likely to lack employment protections, earn less than $24,000 a year, and report that they cannot afford food or healthcare.
Estimates of Transgender Populations in States with Legislation Impacting Transgender People (Update)By Jody L. Herman, Christy Mallory, and Bianca D.M. WilsonNearly 300,000 transgender youth and adults may be negatively impacted by legislation introduced in 15 states. These bills would limit access to single-sex restrooms and locker rooms at schools and in public places; limit protections based on gender identity; permit individuals and businesses to discriminate against transgender people based on religious and moral beliefs; and limit the ability to change certain vital records documents, such as birth certificates, or enforce the use of birth certificates to establish an individual's sex for certain purposes. The report includes a brief description of each bill, which age groups it would affect, and how many transgender people we estimate live in each state.
- By Christy Mallory, Brad SearsJanuary 2015LGBT workers in Virginia are not explicitly protected from discrimination under state or federal laws. Three localities in Virginia prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in private and public sector employment; only one locality prohibits discrimination based on gender identity. If sexual orientation and gender identity were added to existing statewide non-discrimination laws, 5 more complaints would be filed in Virginia each year. The cost of enforcing those complaints would be negligible, and would not require additional court or administrative staff.
- By M.V. Lee Badgett, Sheila Nezhad, Christy MalloryApril 2014Extending marriage to same-sex couples in Virginia would generate up to $60 million in spending to the state economy. According to 2010 U.S. Census, the most recent data available, 14,244 same-sex couples live in Virginia. Of those couples, the Institute estimates that 50 percent (7,122 couples) would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Nearly 5,000 marriages would occur in the first year alone, and bring up to $38 million in revenue to the state of Virginia that year.
- By Gary J. GatesApril 2014Based on the 2010 Census, there are 14,243 same-sex couples living in Virginia. The majority of same-sex couples are female (51%). Nearly one fifth of individuals in same-sex couples in Virginia are members of racial or ethnic minorities. Latinos and Latinas comprise 11% of individuals in same-sex couples and 6% of those in different-sex married couples. The portion of African-Americans is 4% among those in same-sex couples and 12% among those in different-sex married couples. Asians, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders comprise 3% of individuals in same-sex couples and 7% of those in different-sex married couples.
- By Jennifer C. Pizer, Craig J. Konnoth, Christy Mallory, Brad SearsJune 2012This report explains CMS’s approach to extending Medicaid impoverishment protections to same-sex couples, and provides general information about the procedures through which the protections may be provided by states. States specific reports available for Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Virginia.
- By Gary GatesFebruary 2012We estimate that 1,700 adopted children and 300 foster children are being raised by single lesbians and gay men in Virginia. If this legislation were to pass, families such as these may find it more difficult to serve as adoptive or foster parents, resulting in more children in congregate care or more children remaining in foster care for longer periods of time.
- MemorandumSeptember 2009This report documents public sector employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Virginia. The report is part of a 15 chapter study that documents a widespread and persistent pattern of unconstitutional discrimination by state governments against LGBT people.
- By Adam P. Romero, Clifford J. Rosky, M.V. Lee Badgett, Gary J. GatesJanuary 2008Demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children based on data from Census 2000.