UCLA law institute on issues affecting gays receives $5 million


The Williams Institute, UCLA’s think tank on legal issues affecting gays and lesbians, has received a $5-million gift from its namesake donor, officials announced Tuesday.

Including the new donation, UCLA alumnus Charles R. Williams has committed $15 million total to that research wing of UCLA’s law school since its founding in 2001.

The think tank’s scholars played an active role in providing research and filing briefs in the recent U.S. Supreme Court cases involving same-sex marriage. One of those rulings led to the resumption of those weddings in California.


The $5 million will help fund leadership positions, including a research director, according to Brad Sears, executive director of the Williams Institute and an assistant dean at UCLA’s law school.

“In terms of ensuring the long-term stability of the institute, it is an extremely important, strategic gift,” Sears said Tuesday.

Williams, who earned a bachelor’s degree and business master’s at UCLA, is a former senior executive for Sperry Corp. and has been active in gay and lesbian-oriented issues.

In a statement released Tuesday, Williams said he is proud of the institute’s work on “equality in this country and around the world.” He said he anticipated that it would “address issues that make a real difference in people’s lives.”


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