I’m Coming Out! How Voter Discrimination Produces Effective LGBTQ Lawmakers
In this Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL) working paper, the University of Virginia’s Jacob Lollis and Mackenzie Dobson (CEL Graduate Affiliate) look into the effectiveness of LGBTQ lawmakers. The authors expand on earlier research that connects voter discrimination to effective lawmaking and argue that the prejudice that LGBTQ legislators face from voters enables them to be effective lawmakers. To test this, Lollis and Dobson take data on state legislators’ sexual identity and compare it to data on state legislative effectiveness scores (based on research from the CEL). Their research finds that LGBTQ lawmakers are 28% more effective than non-LGBTQ lawmakers. In addition, they use their original measurement which indicates the year the LGBTQ lawmakers publicly came out; they find that such lawmakers who have shared their identity with voters are 43% more effective than LGBTQ lawmakers that have not come out publicly.
To learn more, read the full report here.