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Poverty, Higher Tax Burdens and a Lack of Health Insurance Plague LGBT Families with Children

Families in the LGBT community face many challenges when it comes
    RALEIGH, NC, March 18, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- As voters consider the N.C. Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman, The LGBT Center of Raleigh, organizer of the second annual OutRaleigh festival themed "All Families Matter," announces today the results of a recent study "All Children Matter." The report shows how two million children have become collateral damage from decades of ideology, laws and policies designed to hurt lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

The 134-page report looks at current laws and their impact, as well as makes policy recommendations to improve the situation. Findings Include:

Poverty:
- Children being raised by same-sex couples are twice as likely to live in poverty as children being raised in married, heterosexual households.
- The average household income for same-sex couples raising children lags that of heterosexual couples raising children by more than $15,500, or 20 percent.
- Same-sex couples of color raising children are at even greater risk of living in poverty.

Tax Burden:
- Same-sex couples are unable to file federal tax returns jointly.
- Non-recognized LGBT parents cannot take many key exemptions including: the dependency exemption, child tax credit, earned income tax credit, child and dependent care credit, education credit or adoption credit.
- When employers electively offer extended health benefits for same-sex partners and non-related children, families who use these benefits are taxed on their value, costing the average employee with domestic partner benefits $1,069 more per year in taxes than a heterosexual employee.

Lack of Health Insurance:
- LGBT adults have much lower rates of health insurance coverage than heterosexual adults.
- N.C. employers are not required to offer health benefits to the partners or non-recognized children of LGBT workers.
- LGBT families face unequal COBRA access for continuing health coverage when losing or changing jobs.

In a side-by-side comparison, the additional financial burden for a LGBT headed family of four, over the 18 years of raising children, can exceed $89,000. It can jump to more than $219,000 if the primary breadwinner dies during that period.

The report goes into detail on how to address each area of inequality. The overall solution is for governmental entities to legally recognizing LGBT headed families and provide the same rights and benefits as heterosexual families have. To download a copy of the report, visit http://www.children-matter.org.

About LGBT Center of Raleigh:
The LGBT Center of Raleigh is a non-profit organization that offers a supporting and welcoming space for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, as well as their friends, family and supporters. Their offices include a library, art gallery, coffee shop, meeting rooms and performance space. Open seven days a week, the center provides social, educational and health programs for all ages and affinity groups. These include youth programs, Gay and Gray, NAIL (No Accidents in Life), M Club, the Women's Initiative, the Transgender Initiative, HIV /STD testing and the annual OutRaleigh festival. Visit http://www.lgbtcenterofraleigh.com.

About the "All Children Matter" Study:
"All Children Matter: How Legal and Social Inequalities Hurt LGBT Families" was published in October 2011. The report was authored by the Family Equality Council, Center for American Progress and the Movement Advancement Project in partnership with COLAGE, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and the National Association of Social Workers. "All Children Matter" documents how laws fail to protect children living in U.S. LGBT families—and illustrates these policy failures with personal stories. It outlines solutions for helping ensure that both public policy and child welfare professionals work to serve all children. The full report, as well as condensed versions, are available at http://www.children-matter.org.


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Raleigh, NC
United States
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