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Study: Social Security Privatization Will Really Harm LGBTs
2005-08-17

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The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force ( NGLTF ) released a report that finds that LGBT Americans will be disproportionately harmed by President Bush's plan to privatize Social Security.

According to 'Selling Us Short: How Social Security Privatization Will Affect Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Americans,' LGBT individuals have lower average incomes than their heterosexual counterparts, which means lower Social Security benefits when they retire. Also, same-sex couples are not eligible for Social Security's spousal and survivor benefits provisions, making the LGBT community especially vulnerable to the benefit cuts and risks that will accompany the president's plan.

'There is a widespread myth that gay people are economically advantaged compared to heterosexuals. [ However, ] U.S. census data and other national surveys indicate the opposite. In fact, gay and bisexual men earn anywhere from 13 percent to 32 percent less than heterosexual men,' said Sean Cahill, director of the Task Force's Policy Institute, which published the study.

The report also finds that LGBT people of color, in particular, face an income disadvantage that leads to lower Social Security benefits. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, black same-sex couples earn about $2,000 to $9,000 less annually than black married opposite-sex couples, and Hispanic same-sex couples earn roughly $1,000 to $4,000 less than Hispanic married opposite-sex twosomes.

Selling Us Short also discloses that privatization could negatively affect LGBT elders. By 2030, the estimated population of LGBT seniors will range from two to eight million. LGBT elders may be especially dependent on public services for the elderly, including Social Security, because they may be without the same family support systems as heterosexual seniors.

See www.thetaskforce.org/library.


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