The Impact of Wage Equality on Sexual Orientation Poverty Gaps

Source: M. V. Lee Badgett and Alyssa Schneebaum, Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law, June 2015

From the press release:
Closing the gender wage gap would have a significant impact on poverty rates among same-sex couples and different-sex couples, and would reduce the poverty wage gap between the two, according to a report released today by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. The report, titled “The Impact of Wage Equality on Sexual Orientation Poverty Gaps,” examines which sources of wage differences – gender, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation – make the biggest impact on poverty among same-sex couples. Closing the racial and ethnic wage gaps would also reduce poverty rates for same-sex couples, while eliminating the sexual orientation wage gap would help men in same-sex couples. ….

Key findings from the report include:
• Eliminating the gender wage gap would reduce the poverty rate for women in same-sex couples from 7.9 percent to 5.4 percent.
• By eliminating the racial wage gap, the poverty rate for African American men in same-sex couples would fall from 14.5 percent to 10.9 percent. For African American women in same-sex couples, the poverty rate would drop from 24.7 percent to 16.9 percent.
• If Hispanics and non-Hispanics earned similar wages, the poverty rate for Hispanic men in same-sex couples would fall from 4.9 percent to 3.8 percent. For Hispanic women in same-sex couples, the poverty rate would drop from 9.2 percent to 7.4 percent.
• Women in same-sex couples tend to make more than women in different-sex couples. If they earned similar wages, the poverty rate for women in different-sex couples would fall from 6.6 percent to 5.8 percent.
• If men in same-sex couples earned similar wages to men in different-sex couples, their poverty rate would fall from 3.3 percent to 2.2 percent…..
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