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Friday, March 20, 2009

Lesbian Couples in Poverty?

I was reading an article today about a study that was done at UCLA's Williams Institute attempting to analyze poverty among gay and lesbian couples.

The article, from, stated that "the report was an analysis of recent data about same-sex unmarried couples from the 2000 Census and also included two smaller surveys with questions on sexual orientation."

From the information they gathered, they were attempting to debunk "a popular stereotype (that) paints lesbians and gay men as an affluent elite," says co-author Lee Badgett, an economist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She continues on to state, "There are clearly many poor lesbian, gay and bisexual people."

The data Badgett used included the 2002 federal National Survey of Family Growth and the 2003 and 2005 California Health Interview surveys.

Badgett continues on to say, "Even though single mothers are most likely to be poor, the study did not focus on single lesbians and gay men because most population surveys don't ask about sexual orientation unless respondents volunteer that they are living with a same-sex partner."

Badgett believes that same-sex partners are more likely to be poor because they lack the safety nets of heterosexual couples, such as a spousal health insurance and Social Security survivor benefits.

It is interesting that this report is coming about just as the California Supreme Court is weighing the legality of Prop 8, as well as a bill, that is awaiting action in Congress, to outlaw job discrimination based on sexual orientation.

As to whether or not this report will help our cause is yet to be seen, but I thought the finding themselves were rather interesting, especially since I personally know very few lesbian couples that would be considered impoverished.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject...


1 comment:

alicia said...

lesbians and same-sex partners should be given equal rights and bebefits.


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