The Rockway Institute is a non-partisan, national center for LGBT research and public policy affiliated with the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University in San Francisco. Rockway Institute brings together scientific research and professional expertise to counter anti-gay prejudice and inform public policies affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.
A primary goal is to organize the most knowledgeable social scientists, mental health professionals, and physicians in the United States to provide accurate information about LGBT issues to the media, legislatures, and courts. To assist balanced media coverage, the Institute provides links for reporters and others to important resources on LGBT research and public policy, including links to the policy statements of major mental health and medical professional associations. Working with GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Rockway conducts media trainings for members of such organizations such as the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists and Division 44 (the Society for the Psychological Study of LGBT Issues) of the American Psychological Association. The Institute partners with groups such as Soulforce and AFFIRM to promote the use of accurate research in public policy discussions. Rockway also conducts targeted research projects to address the nation's most pressing LGBT public policy questions.
Rockway’s primary goal is to provide accurate information to the media, legislatures, and the courts. More generally, the Institute serves as a “go-to” resource for other organizations that need experts and research information about LGBT issues in their public education and advocacy activities. Areas of expertise include:
- Same-sex couples (including same-sex marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships)
- Lesbian and gay parenting and child development (including adoption and child custody)
- LGBT youth and school issues (including family acceptance, harassment in schools, suicide)
- Evaluating conversion therapies and claims by the ex-gay movement
- Mental health and substance abuse in LGBT populations
- Discrimination in employment, housing, healthcare, and immigration
- Violent hate crimes against LGBT persons and others perceived to be LGBT
- Behavioral and educational aspects of HIV treatment and prevention
- Religious participation and beliefs among LGBT people
- Aging and the LGBT population
Institutional setting and people
The Rockway Institute is located at Alliant International University, the largest nonprofit training institution for professional psychologists in the United States. Executive Director of the Institute is Robert-Jay Green PhD, who also is Distinguished Professor in the Clinical Psychology PhD Program at the university’s California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP).
To carry out its programs, the Institute draws on the expertise of its 19-member National Advisory Board, 13 core faculty members at Alliant International University, and a large group of eminent professionals located throughout the country.
The institute is named in memory of the late Alan Rockway, a pioneering psychologist who helped write and defend the first LGBT employment non-discrimination ordinance to be approved in a major urban area in the US (Dade County, Florida, 1977). Passage of this ordinance became a major public event in LGBT history because of the widely televised efforts by Anita Bryant, Jerry Falwell and other opponents of same-sex marriage to repeal it. Dr. Rockway also started two of the nation's first LGBT mental health programs—in Miami, Florida, and Berkeley, California.