Two new reports reveal the shocking economic barriers to LGBTI people in the US, including higher rates of poverty, lower wages, economic insecurity and employment discrimination.
According to the report released by the Center for American Progress, up to 28 percent of lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans have been fired, not hired, or passed over for a promotion as a result of their sexual orientation.
Alarmingly, transgender discrimination in the workplace is as high as 47 percent.
The report states, ‘Congress has yet to pass a federal law that would explicitly protect all LGBT communities in the United States from discrimination in employment, housing, access to credit, and access to health care.’
‘As a result, LGBT people are still at risk of being legally fired, denied housing, or denied access to public services because most states lack comprehensive legal protections on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender identity in these areas,’ it continues.
The second report released by the Williams Institute suggests an increase to the minimum wage in the US to combat poverty in the LGBTI community.
‘Looking at same-sex couples shows that some groups of LGBT people are even more likely to be poor than are heterosexual people,’ said author of the report, M.V. Lee Badgett.
‘Raising the minimum wage would help everybody, including lifting tens of thousands of people in same-sex couples out of poverty,’ Badgett said.
The report suggests raising the minimum wage to $15 would ‘dramatically cut’ the poverty rate for same-sex couples – a 46 percent drop for lesbian couples and a 35 percent decline for gay male couples.
‘There are some who believe that the LGBT community is wealthy, but that’s a misleading stereotype,’ Badgett said.