Authors of a new report out today say gay men and women are more likely to be poor than their straight counterparts.

The report issued by the Williams Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles concludes gay men and lesbians are “at least as likely – and perhaps more likely – to experience poverty as are heterosexual people.”

The study lists several reasons for the phenomenon: gays are vulnerable to employment discrimination, lack access to marriage, suffer higher rates of being uninsured, and receive less family support.

“A popular stereotype paints lesbians and gay men as an affluent elite, with high levels of education and income,” the authors write. “More than a decade of research debunks that stereotype, however, showing that LGBT people actually have lower incomes than comparable heterosexual individuals and households.”

Lesbian couples are more likely to be poor than married heterosexual couples, and children of gay parents are twice as likely to live in poverty when compared to those of heterosexual households, the report says.

“Those living in lesbian-partnered families almost always have higher poverty rates than those in heterosexual married partnered families,” the authors write.

The report, titled Poverty In The Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Community, analyzed 2000 Census data and information gathered from two smaller surveys (2002 National Survey of Family Growth and the 2003 & 2005 California Health Interview Surveys). It is the first time gay and lesbian poverty rates have been studied.

On the Net: The Williams Institute is located at