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The Relationship Between LGBT Inclusion and Economic Development: An Analysis of Emerging Economies

November 1, 2014

When LGBT people are denied full participation in society because of their identities, their human rights are violated, and those violations of human rights are likely to have a harmful effect on a country's level of economic development. This study analyzes the impact of the treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people on economic development in 39 emerging economies and other selected countries, and presents findings that demonstrate a link between LGBT rights and economic output. The findings suggest that LGBT equality should be part of economic development programs and policies.

Congressional Testimony on HR 2517: "Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009"

July 8, 2009

Williams Institute Research Director Lee Badgett's written testimony delivered to the Congressional Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and the District of Columbia on HR 2517: Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligation Act of 2009. If passed, the legislation would extend federal employee benefits to domestic partners of federal workers.

The Effects of Marriage Equality in Massachusetts: A survey of the experiences and impact of marriage on same-sex couples

May 17, 2009

May 17th, 2009 marks the 5th year of marriage equality in the state of Massachusetts. To mark this anniversary, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health conducted the largest survey to date of married same-sex couples, the Health and Marriage Equality in Massachusetts (HMEM) survey. During the past year, four other states have extended marriage to same-sex couples and several other states are considering marriage legislation. The HMEM data allows us to address important questions that arise as other states consider whether to extend marriage to same-sex couples. The data provides answers to several key questions: Who is getting married? Why are same-sex couples getting married? What impact has marriage had on same-sex relationships? And, what impact has marriage had on the children of same-sex couples?

The Business Boost from Marriage Equality: Evidence from the Health and Marriage Equality in Massachusetts Survey

May 7, 2009

This brief draws on two sources of data, a survey and state-collected tax revenue data, and finds that marriages have had a positive economic effect on Massachusetts -- likely providing a boost of over $100 million to the state economy. Same-sex couples' weddings injected significant spending into the Massachusetts economy and brought out-of-state guests to the state, whose spending also added to the economic boost.

Tax Implications for Same-Sex Couples

April 14, 2009

This week Americans will rush to complete their tax returns, and perhaps to write out a check to the Internal Revenue Service. For some taxpayers, the pain will be sharper, particularly for gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals and their families. While same-sex couples in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and soon in Iowa and Vermont may marry, the federal government still does not recognize same-sex couples as married, no matter where they live. As a result, same-sex couples pay more in taxes and receive fewer benefits than do married different-sex couples.

The Impact on Maine's Budget of Allowing Same-Sex Couples to Marry

April 9, 2009

This analysis estimates the impact of allowing same-sex couples to marry on Maine's state budget. We estimate that allowing same-sex couples to marry will result in a net gain of approximately $7.9 million each year for the State. This net impact will be the result of savings in expenditures on state means-tested public benefits programs and an increase in revenue from state sales and income taxes and marriage license fees. Throughout this report, we estimate the economic impact of weddings conservatively. In other words, we choose assumptions that are cautious from the State's perspective in that they tend to produce lower revenues and higher expenditures given the range of possibilities. Even so, we find that the effect of allowing same-sex couples to marry in Maine is an annual positive fiscal impact of approximately $7.9 million.

Cost of Florida's Ban on Adoption by GLB Individuals and Same-Sex Couples

March 12, 2009

This memo estimates the impact on children and the cost to the State of Florida of the current prohibition on adoption by gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) individuals and same-sex couples. We use data about the number of children adopted each year as a way to estimate the number of GLB individuals and same-sex couples who would be likely to serve as adoptive parents if the ban were not in place. Prohibiting GLB individuals and same-sex couples from adopting means that 165 children must remain in foster care or must have alternative adoptive homes recruited for them. As a result, we estimate that the ban costs the State of Florida over $2.5 million in per year. As explained below, this estimate is conservative since some likely additional costs are difficult to quantify. In addition, because of the current prohibition on GLB individuals and same-sex couples adopting children in Florida, it is possible that more GLB individuals and same-sex couples would be interested in adopting if the ban were lifted. We estimate that if the ban were lifted, both adoption and foster care by GLB individuals and same-sex couples would increase to the average United States level, leading to 219 children being adopted, and saving the State of Florida $3.4 million dollars in the first year.

Poverty in the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Community

March 1, 2009

This report undertakes the first analysis of the poor and low-income lesbian, gay, and bisexual population. We find clear evidence that poverty is at least as common in the LGB population as among heterosexual people and their families.

The Economic Impact of Extending Marriage to Same-Sex Couples in Vermont

March 1, 2009

Allowing same-sex couples to marry in Vermont would have a positive impact on the state economy, generating $31 million in new spending over the next three years. This new spending will generate 700 new jobs and an additional $3.3 million in state tax revenues.

Kentucky Foster Care/Adoption Ban Cost Estimate

February 24, 2009

This memo estimates the impact on children and the cost to the State of Kentucky of Senate Bill 68, "The Child Welfare Adoption Act," which would prohibit unmarried cohabiting couples -- including both different-sex couples and same-sex couples -- from fostering or adopting children. We use past data to estimate the number of children in foster care who were placed with unmarried couples as a way to estimate the number of impacted children in the first year the proposed legislation would take effect. Prohibiting unmarried couples from fostering or adopting would reduce the number of foster and adoptive families available to care for the 7,027 children currently in foster care. We estimate that 630 foster children will be removed from their current homes and placements during the first year that the ban is in effect. In addition, 85 children in foster care will either not be adopted or remain in foster care longer because the ban will prohibit their adoption by unmarried couples. As a result, the ban will cost the State of Kentucky over $5.3 million in the first year. As explained below, this estimate is conservative since some likely additional costs are difficult to quantify.

The Economic Impact of Extending Marriage to Same-Sex Couples in Maine

February 1, 2009

This research study estimates that same-sex marriage in Maine, if permitted, would have a positive impact on the state's economy and budget. The study finds that same-sex weddings and associated tourism would generate $60 million in additional spending in Maine over three years, creating 1,000 new jobs. Due to this spending, the state and Maine counties would see an increase of $3.6 million in revenues over the next three years; the result of an increase of sales tax revenues of approximately $3.1 million and new marriage license fees of $500,000. In calculating the net benefit to the State, the study approximates that half of Maine's 4,644 same-sex couples, or 2,316 couples, would marry in the first three years that marriage is extended to them. The study also estimates that approximately 15,657 same-sex couples from other states would come to Maine to marry.

Evidence of Employment Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: Complaints Filed with State Enforcement Agencies, 1999-2007

November 1, 2008

To more accurately measure the effect of anti-discrimination laws, this report compares sex, race, and sexual orientation complaint rates through a population-adjusted model. Today, twenty states and the District of Columbia prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. Of those, thirteen also prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity. An aggregation of all available state level data reveals that sexual orientation discrimination laws are used at similar frequencies by Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual (LGB) workers as sex discrimination laws by female workers, both at 5 complaints per every 10,000 workers. Race complaints are filed at the higher rate of 7 per 10,000 workers.