A faculty member recently asked where he could find good studies on same-sex couples and marriages. While doing a thorough search, I found the Williams Institute. Whoa, what a great find!
The Williams Institute is a think tank at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law devoted to legal research, public policy analysis, judicial training, and leadership development. Its consortium of legal scholars, economists, demographers, social scientists, and public health experts is responsible for some of the leading research on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community. Businessman, academic, and philanthropist Charles Williams has given over $13 million in grants to the Williams Institute since 2001—which is the most funding ever given to an academic institution for work done in this area.
In recent years, the Williams Institute has published rigorous studies on marriages for same-sex couples. Their most recent report includes state-level statistics on same-sex couples who identify as spouses and same-sex couples who identify as spouses raising children (their own and non-relatives). This study also has maps of state laws broken down by marriage, civil union/domestic partnerships (broad), domestic partnerships (limited), and includes states with no state laws on gay marriages.
As a leader of original research and a repository of LGBT studies, the Williams Institute at UCLA is continuously making significant contributions to the field. It’s a great resource for scholars, particularly those doing research-related work. My colleague recently found a guide on Best Practices for Asking Questions about Sexual Orientation on Surveys via the Institute’s website. Think that’s a great resource? This information barely skims the surface of the studies and resources readily available through the Williams Institute. Check it out!