UCLA’s Williams Institute: Gays and lesbians as an affluent elite is a myth
March 20, 2009
An interesting new study by UCLA's Williams Institute (PDF) lands a blow on the popular stereotype that gays and lesbians live the life of luxury. In fact, the study's authors Randy Albelda, Lee Badgett, Alyssa Schneebaum and Gary Gates analyzed data from the Census 2000, the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), and the 2003 & 2005 California Health Interview Surveys (CHIS) and found that poverty is at least as common in the LGB population as among heterosexual people and their families. The authors also reported these findings that paint a more realistic picture of the social and economic status of LGB families:
- After adjusting for a range of family characteristics that help explain poverty, gay and lesbian couple families are significantly more likely to be poor than are heterosexual married couple families.
- Notably, lesbian couples and their families are much more likely to be poor than heterosexual couples and their families.
- Children in gay and lesbian couple households have poverty rates twice those of children in heterosexual married couple households.
- Within the LGB population, several groups are much more likely to be poor than others. African American people in same-sex couples and same-sex couples who live in rural areas are much more likely to be poor than white or urban same-sex couples.
- While a small percentage of all families receive government cash supports intended for poor and low-income families, we find that gay and lesbian individuals and couples are more likely to receive these supports than are heterosexuals.
This study shows what many LGB families already know to be true through their daily experiences: LGB families are not immune from the everyday financial challenges faced by other working families. On the contrary, the well-being of LGB families is further worsened by anti-LGBT discrimination, unfair tax policies, and being denied the benefits that are afforded to married couples. View the complete report (PDF) below:
May 17, 2013