Study: LGBT People More Likely to Be Poor Than Heterosexuals

The conventional wisdom that gays are affluent is about to be bucked by a new study, NBC News reports:

HouseOn Monday, the Williams Institute will release a detailed study about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their real economic status. Drawing on recent data from four different sources, the report finds a sexual orientation “poverty gap”: LGBT Americans are more likely to be poor than heterosexuals, with African-Americans and women particularly vulnerable.

Says M.V. Lee Badgett, professor of economics and research director for The Williams Institute:

The findings also suggest that there are other kinds of things to prevent poverty that need to be addressed. For instance, we don’t have any protection against discrimination against LGBT people at the federal level. Only 21 states outlaw discrimination for sexual orientation and 16 states for gender identity. People who lose jobs because of discrimination are very likely to run into problems with poverty. If they don’t have incomes, they will be a whole lot poorer. So, nondiscrimination laws are very important.

Also, marriage is designed to give people a framework for living their economic lives together as well as their family lives, and when people in same-sex couples don’t have access to that framework, then they are automatically deprived of certain kinds of economic supports. Not having the right to marry makes people more economically vulnerable as well.

Read the full interview with Badgett here.

Comments

  1. P says

    This is evidence which tears down the charade that some republicans just want to “focus on Jobs and the Economy.” They really mean that LGBT people are not part of the workforce and their economic concerns are irrelevant by opposing voting for LGBT civil rights to economic concerns. It’s not like we use special rainbow-colored Gay Money to pay for things. We get our paychecks from the same places as straight people, but if we’ve got a partner we’ve got to give more of that paycheck away because Jesus, apparently.

  2. gregorybrown says

    And for most of these folks, being able to contract a marriage will have much less benefit than would protection from being fired from work because they are queer. But this is, for mainstream media and the queer elites, probably not as newsworthy.

  3. johnny says

    Have to wonder if they are viewing income figuers separately based on individuals or based on household. Married couples often lump their incomes together while non-married, gay couples state incomes separately even if they live together. It would skew the data even further towards the poverty line if they are showing separate figures for gay people’s incomes.

    While I make enough to take care of my own bills, I can’t afford to pay all the household bills. However, my partner’s income is enough to easily pay for both of us. Our household income would look great if allowed to lump it together, but mine would probably look “poverty level” if viewed on it’s own, even though we’re doing just fine.

  4. jamal49 says

    This also blows a hole in the slander that white evangelicals use to recruit black evangelicals to their nefarious, uncivil causes, which is that most homos are rich, white people and already have privileges that black folk don’t have and never could have. White homos aren’t like good, decent, good-fearing black folk and are asking for even more “special rights” than they already have because white homos already have everything and besides, homos can change their sinful ways with God’s help. In an evangelical’s view, being gay is a choice. Being black isn’t. Therefore, rich, white homos asking for “special rights” is a slap in the face of those who fought for “real” civil rights.

  5. james says

    Now the Evangelicals will Flip-Flop on their talking points: Now they will shout from their altars that Being Gay means a life of poverty.

    Watch What Happens

  6. Charlie says

    It has been in the interest of gay media to portray their readers as being wealthy and a very desirable market. This helps them sell advertising. So the idea that gay people are wealthy is a creation of the gay media.

  7. Rick says

    “This also blows a hole in the slander that white evangelicals use to recruit black evangelicals to their nefarious, uncivil causes”

    Absolutely hilarios. The lengths that some of you on the Far Left will go to to delude yourselves.

    White Evangelicals have absolutely nothing to do with the rampant homophobia that exists among blacks. For one thing, they are overwhelmingly Republican, while black Evangelicals are overwhelmingly Democrats (including almost all the homophobes among them). For another thing, White Evangelicals led the fight AGAINST civil rights decades ago, a fact of which most black Evangelicals are entirely aware, so there is no connection whatsoever between them, socially, politically, or otherwise.

    No, black homophobia is entirely a product of black culture, I am afraid–as is evidenced by the recalcitrance with which sub-Saharan African and Caribbean countries are resisting attempts by the West (i.e. whites) to dissuade them from their homophobia.

    And no amount of desperate, delusional attempts on the part of the Far Left to pretend otherwise so as to preserve their ideology that blames the White Heterosexual Male for all evil in the world will change that.

  8. Rick says

    And now I will post the comment I originally intended to post before feeling obligated to respond to jamal’s nonsense:

    The authors of the study seem to have focused on the lower end of the income scale, but I have to say that, had they focused on the upper end of the scale, they would have found the same kind of gap, if not an even larger one.

    Anecdotally, I have been in the corporate world for nearly three decades now, and in all that time, I cannot recall having encountered a single senior male executive who was not married (to a woman, I mean). Not one. And I have had exposure to dozens, if not hundreds, of such executives.

    Additionally, my gaydar has practically never gone off when dealing with a colleague, client, or customer–and my gaydar is generally very, very accurate.

    I did not know any other gay students at the top-drawer business school I attended and there was no gay student organization at the time.

    And if you look at the “Out 100″, the only prominent gay executives are either entrepreneurs or they are in a couple of stereotypical fields where being gay has always been something of an asset, namely fashion and entertainment.

    So I am pretty convinced that the number of gay men among the corporate elite is tiny and disproportionately quite low compared to the percentage in the population–and since that is where the big earners are concentrated, it would suggest to me that, even adjusting for education and experience, gays have considerably lowere status and incomes than straights do.

  9. David Hearne says

    Anyone who was paying attention knew that the alleged demographics of gay people were at best nonrepresentative and at worst an OUTright lie to sell advertising.

    That doesn’t mean that there isn’t economic power and desirability to the gay community.

    When considering household income, a gay communal household probably makes more than a nuclear family on average.

    The claims of gay economic power also hinged on “disposable income”. Most gay people do not have kids, and thus a lower income still translates to a higher disposable income… unless you are pissing it away on exorbitant rent in New York, DC, or SF.

  10. ratbastard says

    Hmmm. Statistics like this are easily fudged, especially economic. The most financially well off people in our society are couples, specifically married couples with two separate income sources combined. This becomes a problem when accurately gauging gays financial situation and net worth.

    A big part of many gay ‘advocates’ narrative is gays are wealthier and therefore more desirable to politicians and corporate America. This study would run in the face of this narrative. It still shouldn’t be that big an issue with gay centric businesses because it’s a well established fact people, even gay people, like flaunt wealth they don’t really have, to keep up with jones so-to-speak, and gay people are like everyone else, bombarded with the message that to be ‘cool’ and successful you must wear these clothes, buy this kind of food, drink this kind of booze, be seen at these places, drive this kind of vehicle, etc., Many less well off people suffer from low self esteem, and well actually spend more money they don’t have, and go into more debt, than more financially well off people. So from this standpoint, gays if this study is to be believed, aren’t any less desirable demographic for many types of businesses. I just don’t know how it’ll play out politically speaking.

    And no one can deny the often devastating psychological effects growing up gay can have on people in a society, not just in America, that really still looks askance at homosexuals. These psychological effects result in people with damaged psyches and souls, along with sometimes less fulfilled lives, including financially.

  11. ratbastard says

    “Most gay people do not have kids, and thus a lower income still translates to a higher disposable income”

    Bingo,Mr. Hearne.

  12. Derrick from Philly says

    “No, black homophobia is entirely a product of black culture, I am afraid–as is evidenced by the recalcitrance with which sub-Saharan African and Caribbean countries are resisting attempts by the West (i.e. whites) to dissuade them from their homophobia.”

    And what so-called culture has been a very dominate influence on so-called “black culture” over the last 300 years?

    You right-wing bastards tell half truths.

    And what two religions have played a powerful role in creating the “rampant black homopobia” you rant about.

    You white supremacists b.tches distort history and make up lies? You built an entire “culture” on it.

    And what about the rampant racism of closeted f.ggots like you–currently and long before the 1960s.

    “Many of us gays fought right beside them.”

    Some did, jleo71. But pre-1970s a majority were probably like Rick.

  13. says

    the good news is that non-leftist racist homosexual men are so pathetically closeted that no Out gay person will ever have to deal with interacting with them in the real world.

    😀
    YAY!

    and this study says what all Out people know. good to see it in print.

  14. ratbastard says

    @Raymond Miller of Toronto,

    Take your medications. You have ‘free’ heathcare, so I assume getting mental healthcare and medications isn’t a problem, especially for a disturbed individual like you from an upper middle class background.

  15. JONES says

    Your argument is specious.
    Black homophobia is not cultural. It’s learned behavior and is most often religiously instilled. No human culture is intrinsically homophobic.

    Organized religion has long been the dominant force in African politics. Name me one ‘black’ country in the world that passes laws against homosexuals without Church backing.

    Did you overlook Apple CEO Tim Cook deliberately? Why dismiss the entertainment industry and fashion industry as meaningless? Doesn’t fit your ‘business school’ ethos? Lesbians in business of course don’t count with your white privileged view.

    Your gaydar needs a tuneup. The Corporate world has the same percentage of gays as the rest of the world. Most like yourself are closeted.

  16. ripper says

    LMAO at Rick, a notoriously vile self-loathing homophobe, suggesting that because he’s never met any gays at the corporate executive level that they don’t exist.

    Here’s a clue, Rick: They probably avoid you because you’re so loathsome.

    PS: Reaching Out MBA Conference. Google it.

  17. Polyboy says

    Ah the Ratbastard/Rick, cerberus rears it’s ugly lying head again.

    It’s funny Kiwi puts himself out front proudly, and you seem to think that by using his name you’re wielding some sort of power.

    Then again you also resort to violent threats against him. That says more about your mental health than his.

  18. Rick says

    @ratbastard It has become pretty apparent that Little Kiwi is a trust-fund baby, who does not work for a living, but lives off his wealthy parents (who are part of the 1%)…..which explains his constant badgering of people to “Live Out Loud.”

    He can “live out loud” because he lives in a bubble created by his parents, which means he does not have to fend for himself in the real world or face the potential discrimination that gay people who do live in the real world will often face if they come out.

    He neither understands such people (including the poor people highlighted in this study) nor cares about them, seeing them only as pawns in his little rich-boy game.

    So add another form of cowardice to his undoubted physical cowardice.

    I just ignore him 99% of the time, but this thread seemed like the right one to point out his hypocrisy to other readers.

  19. Caliban says

    A lot of the assumptions about gays and wealth are that we’re all DINKs (double income no kids), which is true, except when it isn’t. What about all the single gay people or the many who ARE raising kids? The stereotype that we’re all zooming off for fabulous vacations and buying (much less wanting) the latest designer duds is in its way just as harmful as other more obviously negative stereotypes. How can a minority that is “doing so well” complain about mistreatment?

    How we have portrayed ourselves is a double-edged sword. Especially in the past playing up our “disposable income” was a way to get businesses to stop supporting anti-gay groups and it worked rather well. But it also undermines our arguments about economic inequality which are equally (if not more) true.

  20. nefter says

    I can’t with blog anymore. The CONSTANT BICKERING IS JUST TOO DRAINING. Rick- perhaps you could focus on your point without attacking someone first? EVERY TIME. Rat- I don’t usually agree with what you post as you too can be quite unnecessarily aggressive but I think the last paragraph of your post above is particularly poignant and a topic that should be more widely discussed within our community, go with that. Kiwi- you strike me as a positive person so why do you feed the negativity? I come to this blog to keep up with gay current events and generally enjoy the comments but there is rarely a comment thread anymore that is not a battlefield for the regulars. PLEASE Stop. Lets get it together and STOP being so nasty to each other, save the shade for happy hour or better yet let the sun shine in! Peace the F**k out :)

  21. nefter says

    I can’t with blog anymore. The CONSTANT BICKERING IS JUST TOO DRAINING. Rick- perhaps you could focus on your point without attacking someone first? EVERY TIME. Rat- I don’t usually agree with what you post as you too can be quite unnecessarily aggressive but I think the last paragraph of your post above is particularly poignant and a topic that should be more widely discussed within our community, go with that. Kiwi- you strike me as a positive person so why do you feed the negativity? I come to this blog to keep up with gay current events and generally enjoy the comments but there is rarely a comment thread anymore that is not a battlefield for the regulars. PLEASE Stop. Lets get it together and STOP being so nasty to each other, save the shade for happy hour or better yet let the sun shine in! Peace the F**k out :)

  22. says

    one troll says i’m rich and one troll says i’m a broke gutter-kid. make up your minds

    i’m neither. grew up in a middle-class. 1%? HARDLY. not even close.

    and i put it out there. why? because Visibility is important.

    we ain’t wealthy, but we’re comfortable. and that comfort is why i put myself out there – from that place of comfortable privilege i was lucky enough to be born into, i feel it’s my responsibility to be visible for those who can’t be.

    if i were a coward i’d be using the internet to spew nonsense anonymously. i don’t do anonymity. invisibility is the enemy.

    but thanks for your continued obsession with me, Troll(s).

    you could always really put me in my place and prove me wrong and show me up by finally putting a face to your comments and claims.
    but you won’t, cuz ya CAN’T, Blanche 😀

    those who can’t tell the truth about themselves choose to lie about others.

  23. Rick says

    “PS: Reaching Out MBA Conference. Google it.”

    No, thanks. Don’t need to. Anybody can get into a top business school without being discriminated against, because the decision-makers don’t meet the candidates for admission, so unless you state that you are gay on the application, there is no way they will know.

    Likewise, when it comes to getting entry-level jobs in your 20’s. Most people are single in their 20’s, so it is not an issue and unless you are obviously gay, your sexual orientation will not become an issue in just getting hired.

    But once you are in an organization, your ability to advance depends as much as, if not more, on your ability to win at “social competition” than your ability to actually excel at your job.

    And that social competition is the competition that gay men almost always lose, for a lot of reasons. Study after study in the business press has documented the rampant discrimination against unmarried men in the corporate world…..and I can assure you that a lot of that discrimination is due to the fact that people assume that if you are over 35 and have never married, then you are gay.

    And people competing against you use that as a weapon in aforementioned social competition…..especially women, who are responsible for about 90% of the rumor-mongering in most offices.

    I am not going to argue with you or anybody else who is not in the corporate world themselves, because you simply don’t know what you are talking about if you are not…..any more than Little Kiwi has any idea of what it is like to be poor or discriminated against……

  24. says

    i dunno, RICK. Your cowardly self comes online to spew your self-hating homophobic tripe every day. When I was a younger kid, I would read and hear the words from cowards like you and take it to heart. Then my balls dropped, and i realized you were full of s**t.

    you come online and blame “effeminacy” for the fact that all the straight people in your family and life are anti-gay. and yet, those “effeminate” men you choose to hate aren’t living like cowards like you are.

    so while you type your hatred, like an anonymous coward, the people you hate defy you and your stupidity every day, by living out loud.

    it’s not my fault you’re not man enough to live openly.

    you’re in your mid-50s, right?

    maybe one day you’ll find the strength to be the man that i became at 17.

    😉

  25. Rick says

    “Did you overlook Apple CEO Tim Cook deliberately?”

    Tim Cook is not “out”. And the only real evidence we have that he is gay is that Gawker claims that anonymous sources (surprise, surprise) claim he is.

    Moreover, he owes his status almost entirely to being championed by Steve Jobs, who was a very, very unusual individual in all kinds of ways, including his attitudes towards gay men….and who did not have to answer to anybody, obviously, in anointing Tim Cook as his successor.

    But I will say this. Cook has barely been CEO for a year now and he is already embattled; he is being attacked on all sides–by Wall Street analysts, by powers-that-be on Capitol Hill (over tax policies), by Silicon Valley bloggers, etc……and I strongly suspect that a lot of that piling on has to do with the rumors that he is gay and the resentment that many feel that a man who might be gay would hold such a coveted position.

    When the CEO of BP was outed, he was history within a month.

    Don’t kid yourself–the corporate world remains deeply homophobic at all levels.

  26. ripper says

    That’s not what the Reaching Out MBA Conference is, you buffoon. Sigh.

    And I do work in the corporate world. As does my partner, who is an executive at a Fortune 100 manufacturing firm. Your assertion that gay men don’t advance is blatant lies as both of us have benefitted from networking with other gay executives in our field. In fact, my partner was recruited by the COO, who is gay and very much out. The gay network is a powerful tool, not that you would know since you’re a coward who continues to hide in the closet.

    Your rampant misogyny is a bigger limiting factor than being gay.

  27. ripper says

    Jesus Christ! Tim Cook is under fire because he’s rumored to be gay?! I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that Apple’s stock has plummeted nearly $300 a share since he took over the company.

    You’re an utter hoser. I can honestly say I’ve never encountered someone who hates being gay as much as you do. See a therapist.

  28. JONES says

    There’s no argument over the existence of homophobia in the corporate world. Your argument was that there are no gays in the corporate world. You dismiss lesbians because they frighten you, you try to dismiss Cook as a special appointee by Jobs even though he’s been with Apple for over a decade, you dismiss entire segments of the business world because they have larger percentages of gay men in their employ than the average big business and then still try to defend your viewpoint as critical thinking.

    Get your gaydar checked. There are gay men all around you. Closeted gay men like yourself.

    Cook is out to anyone that knows him. He’s attacked by Wall Street because he values corporate citizenship as more than the bottom line. He wants to bring some Apple jobs back to the US. The Apple tax policies he was called before congress about happened long before he came to the helm and are not on his shoulders.

    Fearing homophobia keeps you in the closet. You’re hurting yourself in ways you probably don’t comprehend yet, but it’s your life. Just stop with the hatred expressed at the rest of us who are trying to make the world a little less hostile for the next generation.

  29. Rick says

    OK, ripper. In the spirit of “outness”, why don’t you tell us your name and the name of your partner, what titles you hold, and with which companies?

    Heck, it might get you on the “Out 100″ list!

    So go right ahead. Here is your chance.

    As for Apple’s stock falling so fast, what on earth could Tim Cook have done or not done in the space of just a few months on the job to cause such a drop? That’s right–nothing, not really.

    I am sure that some of the drop was due to Jobs simply being regarded as irreplaceable, as he is–and would have happened with any successor, but that hardly explains it all.

    Chicken or egg–Cook being attacked because the stock price is falling….or the stock price falling because Cook is being attacked.

  30. JONES says

    The stock price of Apple fell because it was way over priced by investor gamblers along with competition from Google & Samsung.

    Does it in any realm of reality make sense that it’s all being blamed on Cook because he might be gay?

  31. Rick says

    “The Apple tax policies he was called before congress about happened long before he came to the helm and are not on his shoulders.”

    Yes, they were….but Jobs was never attacked for pursuing them…..and other Silicon Valley companies that pursue exactly the same policies did not have their CEOs called on the carpet the way Cook was, did they?

    I wonder why.