The Rockway Institute is a center for LGBT research and public policy based at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University in San Francisco, California. It was founded in 2007 and named for clinical psychologist Alan Rockway, who was active in the gay rights movement in Florida in the 1970s.[a]
The group's founder and first executive director, Robert-Jay Green, described its initial organization as a group of 10 faculty members and 20 fellows with expertise in LGBT research. He said that professional research had already played a key role in advancing LGBT rights, citing early studies that lead to the decision of the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from its mental illness classification scheme in 1973. He said that "all of the currently active court cases and legislative hearings concerning same-sex marriage, LGBT parenting rights, harassment of LGBT youth in schools, and workplace discrimination against LGBT employees make very heavy use of social science and mental health research findings." As of 2015, the Institute described its mission in these terms:
A primary goal is to organize the most knowledgeable scientists, mental health professionals, and physicians in the United States to provide accurate information about LGBT issues to the media, legislatures, and courts. In addition, the Institute conducts research to answer the nation's most pressing LGBT policy questions in the areas of couple/family relations, mental health, education, and health care.
Green also emphasized the importance of educating journalists in order to counter anti-gay spokespeople like James Dobson of Focus on the Family who "frequently and categorically dismiss all reputable existing research on LGBT issues" and to counter the work of discredited researchers. A spokesperson for Focus on the Family countered that "We've looked at what homosexual activists have put forward and found it lacking. It doesn't meet basic social science standards. It speaks to the desperation among homosexual activists to give credibility to their political goals."
- Rockway helped author and promote several gay rights initiatives in Florida and ran for public office there in 1970 and 1983. In 1978 he founded the Miami Transperience Center to provide counseling services for gays and lesbians. He moved to San Francisco in the early 1980s where he worked as a theatrical producer and where he died of AIDS in November 1987.
- "LGBT activists, researchers start think tank". The Advocate. March 12, 2007. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
- Greenberg, David (November 13, 1987). "Dade gay activist Alan Rockway dies of AIDS". The Miami News. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
- Hutchins, Loraine (1991). Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out. Los Angeles: Alyson Books. pp. 440, 622–3. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
- "A Brief History of the Bisexual Movement". BiNet USA. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
- Nordheimer, Jon (December 28, 1977). "Miami Homosexuals See a Victory Despite Defeat of Antibas Law". New York Times. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
- "Rockway Institute". Alliant International University. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
- Clay, Rebecca (June 2008). "Science vs. ideology: Psychologists fight back against the misuse of research". Monitor on Psychology 39 (6): 41. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
- Trotta, Daniel (June 6, 2007). "Gay think tank wants part in debate". Reuters. Retrieved December 30, 2014.