Research

Victory Institute conducts or commissions research to better understand the impact of LGBT elected officials and leaders on moving equality forward in the United States and around the world. 

"More than Represent" Research Series

The Victory Institute's "More than Represent" research series highlights the impact of LGBT public officials on moving equality forward.  

Third Briefing: LGB State Lawmakers Influence Marriage Equality Laws

In this June 2016 brief, we summarize the findings from a forthcoming paper that the UNC LGBTQ Representation and Rights Research Initiative prepared in partnership with Victory Institute to better understand the influence LGBT lawmakers have on their non-LGBT colleagues. The paper’s analysis is based on an original survey of about 2,400 state lawmakers, and examines the impact that LGB representatives had on passing marriage equality legislation—specifically whether and how they influenced their straight colleagues to vote on marriage bills. Its findings provide clear evidence of the positive impact out LGB lawmakers have, and makes the case why we need more of them in office to help secure full LGBT equality. 

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Second Briefing: LGBT Elected Officials Stop Anti-Equality Bills in the States

This April 2016 brief is the second in a series from Victory Institute that shows the impact openly LGBT public officials have on equality in the states. Here we examine the impact that openly LGBT state legislators have on thwarting anti-equality legislation opponents are pushing in state legislatures. Among the findings: (1) In states not facing anti-LGBT legislation, 85% have 2 or more openly LGBT state lawmakers; and (2) in states that are facing anti-LGBT legislation, nearly 75% have only 1 or no openly LGBT state legislators.

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First Briefing: LGBT Elected Officials Drive Equality in the States

This April 2016 brief is the first in a series analyzing the impact of LGBT state lawmakers. It finds there is a strong correlation between the number of LGBT elected officials in a state and the state's overall level of LGBT equality. Importantly, as a state’s number of openly LGBT officials increases, so does its level of LGBT equality. Among the findings: (1) nearly 70 percent of states with five or fewer openly LGBT public officials are rated as having low levels of LGBT equality; and (2) nearly 70 percent of states with three or more openly LGBT public officials are rated as having high levels of LGBT equality. 

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OutDiplomacy

OutDiplomacy: Reflections on LGBT Service in the Diplomatic Bureaucracy 

OutDiplomacyThis December 2016 brief looks at the impact of President Obama's appointment of six openly gay ambassadors and one special envoy, which has led to unprecedented visibility of the LGBT community within the federal government. In interviews, three of these ambassadors and their staff reflect on how the appointment of openly LGBT officials, particularly in high-visibility roles like ambassadorships, impacted the advancement of LGBT equality at home and abroad. Their observations encompassed changes in the workplace climate for LGBT people, internal policies related to LGBT federal employees, and the impact on local LGBT communities in-country. 

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