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Poor Gays

Poor Gays

In an entry for TalkPoverty.org, Bishop Gene Robinson highlights the intersection of poverty, sexual orientation, and race in a recently released report:

An extraordinary report, New Patterns of Poverty in the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Community, by M.V. Lee Badgett, Laura Durso and Alyssa Schneebaum from the Williams Institute (UCLA School of Law), presents a much more complete and accurate view of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people and families than the one that resides in most people’s minds.

The authors note that in reality same-sex couples are more vulnerable to poverty than married couples who are different-sex. Children of same-sex couples fare even worse—they are almost twice as likely to be poor than their peers in different-sex couple households. The most vulnerable of all are African-American children in gay male households—they have a poverty rate of more than 52 percent—higher than any children in any other household type. Children living with lesbian couples are also struggling with a poverty rate of nearly 38 percepnt—this compared to a national child poverty rate of approximately 20 percent (also atrocious)…

It is very difficult to separate the effects of being LGBT and poor from the additional factors of race and gender. All of these factors come together in a perfect storm which increases the likelihood of poverty among LGBT families raising children…

It is time we stop thinking of the LGBT community as mostly white, affluent, gay males, and begin to recognize how the interlocking oppressions of race and gender affect our LGBT community and conspire to make our poverty rates higher than the norm, especially for those of us raising children. We need a deeper exploration of how sexual orientation, race and gender intersect, if we are to combat the poverty that – perhaps surprisingly – pervades much of our community.

For the full article, please visit TalkPoverty.org here.

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