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Preschool selection considerations and experiences of school mistreatment among lesbian, gay, and heterosexual adoptive parents

March 23, 2014 Comments off

Preschool selection considerations and experiences of school mistreatment among lesbian, gay, and heterosexual adoptive parents
Source: The Williams Institute (UCLA)

Lesbian, Gay, or Bisexual parents of preschoolers may be particularly sensitive to family, racial and sexual diversity issues as they evaluate and select preschools for their children. Additionally, heterosexual adoptive parent families may be especially sensitive to adoption-related stigma and exclusion. Early childhood educators should recognize the growing diversity of contemporary families and consider adoption, family structure, and race as important components of curriculum development. Preschool-age children are beginning to develop an understanding of basic concepts such as race, ethnicity, gender, and families, yet their educators are often uncertain about how to enact more inclusive and affirming approaches to LGB families. Educators and administrators may require additional professional training to increase their knowledge and awareness of LGB and adoptive-parent families for the benefit of their overall approach to teaching.

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Race/Ethnicity, Gender and Socioeconomic Wellbeing of Individuals in Same-sex Couples

March 17, 2014 Comments off

Race/Ethnicity, Gender and Socioeconomic Wellbeing of Individuals in Same-sex Couples
Source: The Williams Institute (UCLA)

Similar patterns of racial disparities in income and employment exist among individuals in same-sex and different-sex couples. The report also found that racial/ethnic minority individuals in same-sex couples tend to live in areas where there are higher proportions of individuals of their own race or ethnicity.

Among same-sex couples, African-American, Latino, American-Indian and Alaskan Native respondents have lower incomes, lower college completion rates and higher unemployment rates than White, Asian and Pacific Islander respondents. Regardless of race or ethnicity, individuals in same-sex couples have higher unemployment rates and, yet, higher rates of college completion compared to their counterparts in different-sex couples. Among same-sex couples, American-Indian, Alaskan Native and Latino/a individuals in same-sex couples are the least likely (70%, 71%) to be covered by health insurance. Health insurance rates are generally lower for individuals in same-sex couples compared to their counterparts in different-sex couples.

Still Serving in Silence: Transgender Service Members and Veterans in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey

August 14, 2013 Comments off

Still Serving in Silence: Transgender Service Members and Veterans in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey
Source: Williams Institute

While transgender people serve in the military at a rate double the general population, they nonetheless face discrimination during and after service. Despite the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ this study highlights the ongoing discrimination faced by transgender people who have served in the military. For example, nine percent of those who served reported that they were discharged on account of being transgender or gender non-conforming. While congressional legislation does not prohibit transgender people from military service, the military’s medical code lays out regulations that can prevent transgender people from joining the military or serving openly. In this study, some transgender service members reported not serving openly for fear of discharge or verbal, physical, and sexual abuse.

The study utilized data collected through the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS), which was conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. 6,456 transgender and gender non-conforming people in the United States reported on their experiences of discrimination and abuse at work, at home, in school, and in the public sphere, amassing the largest transgender survey sample to date. The survey also asked respondents about their military service, whether they had been discharged due to anti-transgender bias, and their ability to update military discharge records.

Gendered Restrooms and Minority Stress: The Public Regulation of Gender and its Impact on Transgender People’s Lives

July 31, 2013 Comments off

Gendered Restrooms and Minority Stress: The Public Regulation of Gender and its Impact on Transgender People’s Lives
Source: Williams Institute (UCLA)

Transgender and gender non-conforming people report being denied access to gendered restrooms, and experiencing verbal harassment and physical assault in these spaces at alarming rates. The Washington, DC- based survey, conducted with the DC Trans Coalition, found that 70 percent of survey respondents report experiencing verbal harassment, assault, and being denied access to public restrooms. The study identifies the impact that transgender people’s negative experiences in gendered restrooms can have on their education, employment, health, and participation in public life.

Findings include:

• 27 percent of those who worked in Washington, DC, experienced problems using restrooms at work that, in some cases, caused them to change jobs or leave their employer entirely.

• 54 percent of all respondents reported having some sort of physical problem from trying to avoid using public restrooms, such as dehydration, kidney infections, and urinary tract infections.

• 58 percent reported that they have avoided going out in public due to a lack of safe public restroom facilities.

• 10 percent of survey respondents who attended school in Washington, DC, reported a negative impact on their education, including having excessive absences and dropping out of school due to issues related to restroom access.

• People of color and people who have not medically transitioned fared worse in some measured survey outcomes.

New Patterns of Poverty in the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Community

July 1, 2013 Comments off

New Patterns of Poverty in the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Community
Source: Williams Institute of Sexual Orientation Law (UCLA)

As poverty rates for nearly all populations increased during the recession, lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) Americans remained more likely to be poor than heterosexual people. Gender, race, education and geography all influence poverty rates among LGB populations, and children of same-sex couples are particularly vulnerable to poverty.

Key findings include:
• In the American Community Survey, 7.6% of lesbian couples, compared to 5.7% of married different-sex couples, are in poverty.
• African American same-sex couples have poverty rates more than twice the rate of different-sex married African Americans.
• One third of lesbian couples and 20.1 % of gay male couples without a high school diploma are in poverty, compared to 18.8% of different-sex married couples.
• Lesbian couples who live in rural areas are much more likely to be poor (14.1%), compared to 4.5% of coupled lesbians in large cities. 10.2% of men in same-sex couples, who live in small metropolitan areas, are poor, compared with only 3.3% of coupled gay men in large metropolitan areas.
• Almost one in four children living with a male same-sex couple and 19.2% of children living with a female same-sex couple are in poverty, compared to 12.1% of children living with married different-sex couples. African American children in gay male households have the highest poverty rate (52.3%) of any children in any household type.
• 14.1% of lesbian couples and 7.7% of gay male couples receive food stamps, compared to 6.5% of different-sex married couples. Also, 2.2% of women in same-sex couples receive government cash assistance, compared to .8% of women in different sex couples; 1.2% of men in same-sex couples, compared to .6% of men in different-sex couples, receive cash assistance.

Gendered Restrooms and Minority Stress: The Public Regulation of Gender and its Impact on Transgender People’s Lives

June 27, 2013 Comments off

Gendered Restrooms and Minority Stress: The Public Regulation of Gender and its Impact on Transgender People’s Lives
Source: Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law (UCLA)

Transgender and gender non-conforming people report being denied access to gendered restrooms, and experiencing verbal harassment and physical assault in these spaces at alarming rates. The Washington, DC- based survey, conducted with the DC Trans Coalition, found that 70 percent of survey respondents report experiencing verbal harassment, assault, and being denied access to public restrooms. The study identifies the impact that transgender people’s negative experiences in gendered restrooms can have on their education, employment, health, and participation in public life.

Findings include:
• 27 percent of those who worked in Washington, DC, experienced problems using restrooms at work that, in some cases, caused them to change jobs or leave their employer entirely.
• 54 percent of all respondents reported having some sort of physical problem from trying to avoid using public restrooms, such as dehydration, kidney infections, and urinary tract infections.
• 58 percent reported that they have avoided going out in public due to a lack of safe public restroom facilities.
• 10 percent of survey respondents who attended school in Washington, DC, reported a negative impact on their education, including having excessive absences and dropping out of school due to issues related to restroom access.
• People of color and people who have not medically transitioned fared worse in some measured survey outcomes.

Donor, Dad, or…? Young Adults with Lesbian Parents’ Experiences with Known Donors

May 22, 2013 Comments off

Donor, Dad, or…? Young Adults with Lesbian Parents’ Experiences with Known Donors

Source: Williams Institute

Research suggests that children of lesbian parents are satisfied with their current level of contact with their male donors and do not think of their donors as dads. The study sheds light on how children raised in lesbian, gay, and bisexual families are contributing to the redefinition and reconstruction of complex kinship arrangements. Participants in the study perceived their relationships with their male donors in one of three ways: as strictly donors and not members of their family; as extended family members, but not as parents; and as fathers. Participants ranged in age from 19-29, and while most were satisfied with the current level of contact with their male donors, several desired more information or contact with these men, and in some of these cases, had already begun to establish a connection with them.

Metro Areas with Highest Percentages of Same-Sex Couples Raising Children Are in States with Constitutional Bans on Marriage

May 22, 2013 Comments off

Metro Areas with Highest Percentages of Same-Sex Couples Raising Children Are in States with Constitutional Bans on Marriage

Source: Williams Institute

The metro areas with the highest percentages of same-sex couples raising children are in states that have a constitutional ban on marriage, according to a new infographic created by the Williams Institute.

“Research consistently shows that same-sex couples raise children all across the country,” said Williams Institute public policy research fellow, Angeliki Kastanis. “This analysis underscores the fact that recognition of LGBT families is a consequential policy question in every state.”

Mississippi has the highest percentage of same-sex couples raising children at 26 percent.

Public Support for Marriage for Same-sex Couples by State

May 9, 2013 Comments off

Public Support for Marriage for Same-sex Couples by State
Source: Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law (UCLA)

By the end of 2012, 12 states and the District of Columbia had support for same-sex marriage at or above 50%. Of these 12 states, all currently perform marriages, civil unions, or domestic partnerships for same-sex couples. Thirteen additional states presently are within 5 percentage points of majority support. In the last eight years, every state has increased in its support for marriage for same-sex couples with an average increase of 13.6%. If present public opinion trends continue, another 8 states will be above 50% support by the end of 2014.

New Study: Approximately 900,000 Immigrants Identify as LGBT

March 18, 2013 Comments off

New Study: Approximately 900,000 Immigrants Identify as LGBT

Source: Williams Institute

A new study estimates that there are approximately 267,000 LGBT-identified individuals among the adult undocumented immigrant population and an estimated 637,000 LGBT-identified individuals among the adult documented immigrant population. The study, led by Dr. Gary J. Gates, Williams Distinguished Scholar and an expert in the demographic, geographic, and economic characteristics of the LGBT population, estimates the number of LGBT-identified adult (age 18+) undocumented and documented immigrants and describes some of their characteristics. The report finds that approximately 71 percent of undocumented LGBT adults are Hispanic and 15 percent of undocumented LGBT adults are Asian or Pacific Islander.

Key findings regarding adult undocumented immigrants include:

● There are an estimated 267,000 LGBT-identified individuals among the adult undocumented immigrant population, approximately 2.7 percent.

● Relative to all undocumented immigrants, LGBT undocumented immigrants are more likely to be male and are younger.

● 71 percent of undocumented LGBT adults are Hispanic.

● 15 percent of undocumented LGBT adults are Asian or Pacific Islander.

Key findings regarding adult documented immigrants include:

● There are an estimated 637,000 LGBT-identified individuals among the adult documented immigrant population, approximately 2.4 percent.

● Like their undocumented counterparts, LGBT documented immigrants are more likely to be male and are younger.

● 30 percent of documented LGBT adults are Hispanic.

● 35 percent of documented LGBT adults are Asian or Pacific Islander.

Key findings regarding same-sex couples that include a foreign born spouse or partner:

● There are an estimated 113,300 foreign born individuals (naturalized citizens and non-citizens) who are part of a same-sex couple. An estimated 54,600 of these individuals are not US citizens.

● An estimated 32,300 same-sex couples are binational (one US citizen and one non-citizen) along with 11,700 same-sex couples comprised of two non-citizens.

● Nearly 7,000 same-sex couples that include two non-citizens (58 percent) are raising an estimated 12,400 children under age 18.

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.”

+ Full Report (PDF)

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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