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Williams Institute on Poverty in the LGB community

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Williams Institute has identified that poverty rates for lesbian, gay and bisexual couples are higher than rates for heterosexual adults. Further, African-Americans in same-sex couples are at higher poverty rates than black people in different-sex married couples, and roughly three times higher than those in white same-sex couples. And rural same-sex couples are not only living in poverty at a higher rate than different-sex couples, but are twice as likely to be poor than same-sex couples who live in urban areas.

In a time of economic hardship, it's vital that we understand that poverty strikes the LGBT community differently - and more harshly - than our heterosexual counterparts. Lesbians who are 65 or older are twice as likely to be poor as heterosexual married couples, a statistic that speaks to the inequality of access to federal safety nets for older adults and a lifetime of discrimination in employment and resulting employment benefits.

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