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New Study
Highlights Gay Poverty

New Study
Highlights Gay Poverty

Findings released today by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law show that gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans are as likely or even more likely than heterosexuals to live in poverty.

Findings released today by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law show that gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans are as likely or even more likely than heterosexuals to live in poverty. The authors of the report describe it as the first study of its kind.

The report uses the most recent data on same-sex unmarried partners from the 2000 Census and two other surveys to shatter the persistent myth of gay affluence.

On the contrary, say the authors, same-sex partners are more likely to be poor than their heterosexual counterparts because they lack access to safety nets such as a spouse's health insurance coverage and Social Security survivor benefits.

Among the specific findings are that lesbian couples are more likely to be poor than married heterosexuals, and that children of same-sex parents have twice the risk of living in poverty compared to children of married heterosexual parents.

A poverty scholar from the conservative Heritage Foundation dismissed the study as "garbage," according to USA Today, because it looks only at couples and therefore does not compare single gays to single mothers, a larger poverty group.

According to the authors, the report focuses on couples and not singles because most nationwide surveys do not ask about sexual orientation, a detail that is often revealed only in the context of asking respondents questions pertaining to marriage and cohabitation status.

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