Authors of a new report out today say
gay men and women are more likely to be poor than their straight
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
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 www.law.ucla.edu/williamsinstitute.