Archive for the ‘Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law’ Category

The Relationship between the EEOC’s Decision that Title VII Prohibits Discrimination Based on Gender Identity and the Enforcement of Executive Order 11246

May 19, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Williams Institute
New analysis finds that a recent ruling from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that gender identity discrimination is unlawful will likely be extended to federal contractors. The EEOC opinion held that gender identity or expression discrimination violates the prohibition on sex discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. By executive order (EO 11246), federal contractors are similarly prohibited from sex discrimination.
Sex discrimination complaints against federal contractors filed pursuant to the existing executive order are enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), an agency within the Department of Labor. The OFCCP has an explicit policy of interpreting the executive order in a manner consistent with Title VII, and has followed the EEOC’s regulations and guidance in enforcing the order. Further, complaints filed with the OFCCP are either directly enforced by the EEOC or enforced by OFCCP officers acting as agents of the EEOC.

Full Report (PDF)

Gay Men Report High Rates of Hate-Motivated Physical Violence

May 18, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Williams Institute
According to a new study from the Williams Institute, gay men face higher rates of hate-motivated physical violence than lesbians, bisexuals or other federally protected groups with high rates of hate crimes. This finding is especially troubling given prior research has shown that sexual orientation-motivated hate crimes tend to be more violent.
Among the research findings, 26 in 100,000 gay men reported being victims of hate-motivated crimes against persons, compared to 10 in 100,000 lesbians, 5 in 100,000 African Americans, and 5 in 100,000 Jewish Americans. Gay men also face the second highest risk of being victims of hate-motivated property crime (9 in 100,000 gay men). Further, reporting of such hate crimes is likely under represented since data reflect only those who report such crimes to local law enforcement, who then choose whether to report the data to the FBI.
Although prior research has suggested that lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals, Jews, and African Americans experience similar levels of overall victimization, this study is the first to demonstrate that when lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals are considered separately, gay men experience more hate crimes.

Full Report

Family Formation and Raising Children Among Same-Sex Couples

February 5, 2012 Comments off

Family Formation and Raising Children Among Same-Sex Couples (PDF)
Source: Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law

Among self-identified lesbians and gay men in the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth, one third of lesbians and one in six gay men say they have had children. Analyses of the 2008 General Social Survey suggest that 19% of gay and bisexual men and 49% of lesbians and bisexual women say they have had a child.

Spending on Weddings of Same-Sex Couples in the United States

August 26, 2011 Comments off

Spending on Weddings of Same-Sex Couples in the United States (PDF)
Source: Williams Institute, University of California School of Law

The extension of marriage rights to same-sex couples in various jurisdictions will generate economic gains for the businesses in those jurisdictions due to increased spending on weddings. A 2004 Forbes magazine article projected that if same-sex marriage rights were granted nationwide, same-sex weddings would generate $16.8 billion dollars in expenditures, adding significantly to America’s annual $70 billion wedding industry. For over twenty years, various other commentators have argued or found that the first state or states to offer marriage equality would experience a wave of increased tourism from out-of-state couples that would bring millions of additional dollars in revenue to state businesses. This memorandum estimates the total spending by resident and out-of-state couples on their weddings in states that recognize marriage equality for same-sex couples, in the first year after equal marriage rights were introduced.

New Cross-national Study Shows Vast Majority of Countries Have Become More Accepting of Homosexuality; Trend Slower or Reversed in Russia and Other ex-Socialist Countries

June 16, 2011 Comments off

New Cross-national Study Shows Vast Majority of Countries Have Become More Accepting of Homosexuality; Trend Slower or Reversed in Russia and Other ex-Socialist Countries (PDF)
Source: Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law

With support from the Williams Institute, a report by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago presents new findings on the cross-national differences in attitudes towards homosexuality. Based on five rounds of surveys administered in different countries between 1988 and 2008, the report examined general trends and ranked countries regarding their attitudes towards homosexuality.

The study concludes that “overwhelmingly, societies have become more accepting of homosexual behavior.” Thirty-one countries were identified with data that showed trends in public opinion about homosexual behavior. Of those, approval of homosexuality increased in 27 countries and in only 4 countries did it decrease: Russia, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, and Latvia. Moreover, the growth in approval was stronger than the decline.

The one regional trend that was identified was that changes tended to be slower or reversed in Russia and other ex-Socialist countries. The top five countries with the highest acceptance of homosexuality ratings are the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, and Belgium- Flanders. The bottom half of the list consisted of seven ex-Socialist states, four East Asian nations, three Latin American countries and Cyprus, South Africa, and Turkey. For example, in Russia, 59% of the population felt that homosexual behavior was wrong in 1991 compared with 64% in 2008. In 2008, only 8% felt homosexual behavior was “not wrong at all.”

Many countries, including the United States, showed a bimodal distribution, an indication that many people have strongly held opinions about homosexuality. For example, in 2008, the vast majority of respondents in the United States selected an option that was at one of the extremes of the opinion scale: 54% said homosexual behavior was “always wrong” while 32% indicated it was “not wrong at all.” Only 11% selected a response in the middle such as “almost always wrong” or “wrong only sometimes.”

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How many people are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender?

April 13, 2011 Comments off

How many people are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender? (PDF)
Source: Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law

Increasing numbers of population-based surveys in the United States and across the world include questions that allow for an estimate of the size of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) population. This research brief discusses challenges associated with collecting better information about the LGBT community and reviews eleven recent US and international surveys that ask sexual orientation or gender identity questions. The brief concludes with estimates of the size of the LGBT population in the United States.

Key findings from the research brief are as follows:

  • An estimated 3.5% of adults in the United States identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual and an estimated 0.3% of adults are transgender.
  • This implies that there are approximately 9 million LGBT Americans, a figure roughly equivalent to the population of New Jersey.
  • Among adults who identify as LGB, bisexuals comprise a slight majority (1.8% compared to 1.7% who identify as lesbian or gay).
  • Women are substantially more likely than men to identify as bisexual. Bisexuals comprise more than half of the lesbian and bisexual population among women in eight of the nine surveys considered in the brief. Conversely, gay men comprise substantially more than half of gay and bisexual men in seven of the nine surveys.
  • Estimates of those who report any lifetime same-sex sexual behavior and any same-sex sexual attraction are substantially higher than estimates of those who identify as LGB. An estimated 19 million Americans (8.2%) report that they have engaged in same-sex sexual behavior and nearly 25.6 million Americans (11%) acknowledge at least some same-sex sexual attraction.
  • Understanding the size of the LGBT population is a critical first step to informing a host of public policy and research topics. The surveys highlighted in this report demonstrate the viability of sexual orientation and gender identity questions on large national population-based surveys. Adding these questions to more national, state, and local data sources is critical to developing research that enables a better understanding of the understudied LGBT community.

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