The at the has announced the endowment of the first academic chair in the United States dedicated to sexual orientation law and public policy.
The more than $1 million gift from philanthropists John McDonald and Rob Wright will be used to establish the McDonald/Wright Chair of Law, to be held by a member of the faculty of UCLA Law and the Williams Institute who has distinguished him- or herself in research related to sexual orientation law and public policy or a field that advances the understanding of sexual orientation law and public policy. Endowing a chair for this purpose will help "turn societal wrongs into civil and human rights," said Wright. McDonald and Wright have funded a number of programs at the Williams Institute over the years and have a track record of supporting HIV and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) organizations nationwide.
"The chair will attract new scholars to the Williams Institute and will encourage younger faculty members to pursue their academic interests in sexual orientation issues," said Brad Sears, the institute's executive director. "It will greatly enhance the work and prestige of the Williams Institute, UCLA Law School, and the entire field of sexual orientation law and public policy."