Lifting minimum wage would benefit same-sex couples

Source: The Department of Labor
Source: The Department of Labor

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The Williams Institute has reported through a study that elevating the minimum wage to $15 would lift 30,000 individuals in same-sex couples out of poverty.

The official U.S. poverty rate for 2015 was 13.5 percent, with 43.1 million in poverty. This figure did not discuss the vulnerability to poverty of LGBT individuals. However, the new study showed that poverty remains a significant problem for LGBT individuals.

In “The Impact of a $15 Minimum Wage on Poverty Among Same Sex Couples,” researchers M.V. Lee Badgett and Alyssa Schneebaum drew on data on same-sex couples to show the effect of a higher minimum wage on that segment of the LGBT community. Raising the federal minimum wage from its current level of $7.25 to $15 an hour would reduce LGBT poverty dramatically, the Williams Institute shared.

“There are some who believe that the LGBT community is wealthy, but that’s a misleading stereotype,” said Badgett. “Looking at same-sex couples shows that some groups of LGBT people are even more likely to be poor than are heterosexual people. Raising the minimum wage would help everybody, including lifting tens of thousands of people in same-sex couples out of poverty.”

Key findings included: The percentage of poor female same-sex couples would fall from 6.9 percent to 3.7 percent, a 46 percent drop in poverty; poverty among men in same-sex couples would fall from 3.4 percent to 2.2 percent, a drop of 35 percent in poverty; the poverty rates of married different-sex couples would also decrease from 5.6 percent to 3.1 percent; and almost 30,000 people in same-sex couples would see their family incomes rise above the poverty level.

To make these predictions, Badgett and Schneebaum used the 2014 American Community Survey to compare same-sex and different-sex couples and to simulate what happens to families’ incomes if the lowest wage earners were paid $15 an hour, Williams Institute shared. Badgett and Schneebaum used the official federal definition of poverty, which is having an income that falls below the federal poverty threshold.


Methodists drop complaints

CHICAGO, Ill. — The United Methodist Church has dismissed or resolved complaints against three of its clergy due to LGBT-related issues.

Rev. Anna Blaedel had previously been dismissed for being “a self-avowed practicing homosexual,” the church said. Blaedel had called into action “against all forms of injustice in the church…,” adding, “Silent acquiescence to injustice is unfaithful and sinful.”

Rev. Val Rosenquist had officiated at the marriage of two Charlotte, N.C. congregational members in early 2016.

Rev. Mike Tupper had, along with eight other clergy, co-officiated at the wedding of another minister and his partner in 2015.


Coming Out seeks stories

NEW YORK, N.Y. — The non-profit Coming Out, an open-source library of coming out stories, is searching for narratives to add to its “shelves.”

The organization said that they are “committed to developing a platform that makes it easy for anyone of any background to both share, as well as read stories they can relate to.”

The site was launched in 2015 with members from organizations such as Google, Facebook, Uber, Michael Kors, Nielsen and Lambda Legal. It currently reaches an audience of more than thousands across 170 countries globally.


Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at and 704-531-9988,...