M. V. Lee Badgett studies family policy issues and labor market discrimination based on sexual orientation, race and gender. She is also the research director of the Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at UCLA and the director of the Center for Public Policy & Administration at UMass Amherst (2013-16).
Her latest book, When Gay People Get Married: What Happens When Societies Legalize Same-Sex Marriage (NYU Press, 2009), focuses on the U.S. and European experiences with marriage equality for gay couples. She co-edited of the recent book, Sexual Orientation Discrimination: An International Perspective (Routledge, 2007). Her first book, Money, Myths, and Change: The Economic Lives of Lesbians and Gay Men (University of Chicago Press, 2001), presented her groundbreaking work debunking the myth of gay affluence. She is also the author or co-author of numerous journal articles and policy reports.
Prof. Badgett’s policy-related work includes testifying as an expert witness in legislative matters and litigation, analyzing public policies, consulting with regulatory bodies, briefing policymakers, writing op-ed pieces, speaking with journalists, and advising businesses. In 2010 she was an expert witness in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial on the constitutionality of Proposition 8.