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The Williams Institute advances sexual orientation law and public policy through rigorous, independent research and scholarship, and disseminates it to judges, legislators, policymakers, media and the public. A national think tank at UCLA Law, the Williams Institute produces high quality research with real-world relevance.

Experts at the Williams Institute have authored dozens of public policy studies and law review articles, filed amicus briefs in key court cases, provided expert testimony at legislative hearings, been widely cited in the national media, and trained thousands of lawyers, judges and members of the public. By providing new ideas and reliable information, the Williams Institute makes a difference.

Cover page of Estimating the Economic Boost of Marriage Equality in Delaware

Estimating the Economic Boost of Marriage Equality in Delaware

(2013)

Extending marriage rights to same-sex couples in Delaware would bring an estimated $7 million to the state and local economy. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 2,646 same-sex couples live in Delaware. Of those couples, 50 percent, or approximately 767 marriage licenses, would be issued within the first three years after the passage of marriage equality, a pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere. The report also takes into account the Delaware couples that may have married in other states.

Cover page of Estimating the Economic Boost of Marriage Equality in Rhode Island

Estimating the Economic Boost of Marriage Equality in Rhode Island

(2013)

Extending marriage rights to same-sex couples in Rhode Island would bring an estimated $7 million to the state and local economy, including $5.5 million in additional wedding spending and $1.5 million in tourism expenditures made by out-of-town guests. Based on Rhode Island’s rates of 7 percent sales tax and 6 percent hotel and lodging tax, $530,000 in tax revenue will be generated for the state in the first three years same-sex couples may marry. The boost in travel spending will generate approximately 26 jobs in the state.

Cover page of Public Support for Marriage for Same-sex Couples by State

Public Support for Marriage for Same-sex Couples by State

(2013)

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.

Cover page of Public Support for Marriage for Same-sex Couples by State

Public Support for Marriage for Same-sex Couples by State

(2013)

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.

Cover page of Estimating the Economic Boost of Marriage Equality in Minnesota

Estimating the Economic Boost of Marriage Equality in Minnesota

(2013)

Extending marriage rights to same-sex couples in Minnesota would bring an estimated $42 million to the state and local economy. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 10,207 same-sex couples live in Minnesota. Total state and local tax revenue would rise by $3 million, including an estimated $128,000 in local taxes. As seen in Iowa, same-sex couples from neighboring states that do not allow same-sex couples to marry may travel to Minnesota and generate additional spending on wedding and tourism-related goods and services.

Cover page of The Cost of Employment and Housing Discrimination against Transgender Residents of New York

The Cost of Employment and Housing Discrimination against Transgender Residents of New York

(2013)

Employment and housing discrimination against New York’s transgender residents costs the state millions of dollars each year. These costs include public assistance and housing expenditures, and lost income tax revenue. According to population figures from the 2010 Census, 23,800 New York transgender residents are not covered by local ordinances that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity in employment, housing, public accomodations, and other areas.

Cover page of Estimating the Economic Boost of Marriage Equality in Minnesota

Estimating the Economic Boost of Marriage Equality in Minnesota

(2013)

Extending marriage rights to same-sex couples in Minnesota would bring an estimated $42 million to the state and local economy. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 10,207 same-sex couples live in Minnesota. Total state and local tax revenue would rise by $3 million, including an estimated $128,000 in local taxes. As seen in Iowa, same-sex couples from neighboring states that do not allow same-sex couples to marry may travel to Minnesota and generate additional spending on wedding and tourism-related goods and services.

Cover page of Brief of Amici Curiae in United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry of Gary J. Gates

Brief of Amici Curiae in United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry of Gary J. Gates

(2013)

Williams Distinguished Scholar Gary J. Gates filed a friend-of-the-court brief presenting and analyzing demographic and economic data regarding LGBT adults and same-sex couples and their children in the United States.   This brief analyzes data from the 2010 United States Census, the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the General Social Survey, and data from the Gallup Daily Tracking Survey.  The law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as counsel on the brief.

Cover page of Brief of Amici Curiae in United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry of National Women's Law Center, Williams Institute, and Women's Legal Groups

Brief of Amici Curiae in United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry of National Women's Law Center, Williams Institute, and Women's Legal Groups

(2013)

A group of eight Williams Institute-affiliated scholars on sexual orientation and gender law joined with the National Women’s Law Center and eight other leading women’s legal groups to file a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that, like laws that discriminate based on sex, laws that discriminate based on sexual orientation warrant heightened judicial scrutiny because, among other considerations, such laws are based on overbroad gender stereotypes.  The scholars on the brief were Nancy Polikoff, Vicki Schultz, Nan D. Hunter, Christine A. Littleton, Devon Carbado, Cheryl Harris, Seana Shiffrin, and Brad Sears.  Counsel on the brief were David Codell, the Williams Institute’s Visiting Arnold D. Kassoy Senior Scholar of Law and Legal Director; Marcia Greenberger and Emily Martin of the National Women’s Law Center; and the law firm of Paul Hastings LLP.

Cover page of Estimating the Economic Boost of Marriage Equality in Illinois

Estimating the Economic Boost of Marriage Equality in Illinois

(2013)

Extending marriage to same-sex couples in Illinois would generate up to $103 million in spending to the state and local economy. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 23,049 same-sex couples live in Illinois. Of those couples, the report estimates that 50% (11,525 couples) would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Of the couples that will marry, 64% of those marriages will occur during the first year, 21% in the second year and 15% in the third year.

In the first three years of extending marriage to same-sex couples, the study estimates that the state’s wedding business would see an increase by $74 million, and an increase of $29 million in tourism expenditures made by out-of-town guests over the same period; total state and local tax revenue would rise by $8.5 million, including an estimated $1-2 million in local sales taxes. The first year would produce $5.4 million of this spending; the boost in wedding spending will generate approximately 281 jobs in the state.