This page contains state-specific research for the state of West Virginia:
- 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.
- By Justin M. O’Neill, Christy Mallory, M.V. Lee BadgettOctober 2014Extending marriage to same-sex couples in West Virginia would generate an estimated $9 million in spending to the state economy. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 2,848 same-sex couples live in West Virginia. Of those couples, it is estimated that 50 percent, or 1,424 couples, would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Over 911 marriages would occur in the first year alone, and bring over $5.8 million in revenue to the state of West Virginia that year.
- By Christy Mallory, Sarah Liebowitz, Amira HasenbushDecember 2013More than 25,000 LGBT workers in West Virginia continue to face widespread and persistent employment discrimination absent state or federal legal protections. Charleston, Morgantown, Lewisburg, Harpers Ferry, and Buckhannon have local ordinances that prohibit employment discrimination against LGBT people, but they do not provide as much protection for LGBT people as the state’s law that prohibits other types of discrimination. Approximately 95 percent of West Virginia’s workforce is not covered by a local ordinance prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
- MemorandumSeptember 2009This report documents public sector employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in West 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.