LGBT+ people facing more economic hardship in U.S. pandemic fallout – survey

Thursday, 23 April 2020 20:09 GMT

Transgender rights activists protest at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 22, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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A fifth of U.S. LGBT+ people say they are having financial trouble thanks to the coronavirus outbreak

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By Oscar Lopez

MEXICO CITY, April 23 (Openly) - Gay and trans people in the United States are twice as likely to say their finances are worse off than their straight peers and have seen more cuts in work hours in the coronavirus outbreak, research published on Thursday showed.

LGBT+ Americans are also more pessimistic about their economic future, with gays and lesbians twice as likely to think their finances will be worse off in a year, according to the research from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) advocacy group.

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Cases of the coronavirus in the United States were approaching 850,000 this week, doubling in about two weeks, according to a Reuters tally, with the country now seeing the world's largest number of confirmed infections.

An unprecedented 26.5 million Americans have sought unemployment benefits since mid-March as the novel coronavirus and the lockdown measures to curtail the outbreak savage the economy.

"It is unfortunately not surprising to see that the LGBTQ community is facing adverse economic impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic," said HRC President Alphonso David in a statement.

"This new data bears out our initial predictions that LGBTQ people were likely to face greater economic hardship, and is more proof that the most marginalized communities are the most at risk," David said.

The research showed while about a fifth of LGBT+ people in the United States said their personal finances were "much worse off" than a year ago, among the general population only 11% had seen their finances worsen.

And while almost a third of gay and trans people had seen their work hours reduced, only 22% of the general population reported a reduction in work hours.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a light on many unfortunate realities we face in our society," said Peter Horst, chief executive of PSB Research, a global analytics firm that conducted the survey in partnership with HRC.

"The virus has delivered disproportionate impact across various communities, including LGBTQ people," he said in a statement.

The survey also found LGBT+ people were more likely than their straight counterparts to trust international sources for coronavirus information.

More than half of gay and trans people said they trusted the World Health Organization (WHO), compared with 35% of the general U.S. population. Only 14% of gay and trans people said they trusted U.S. President Donald Trump as a source of information.

The survey of 1,000 U.S. adults was conducted online April 15 and 16.

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(Reporting by Oscar Lopez @oscarlopezgib; editing by Ellen Wulfhorst. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit

Openly is an initiative of the Thomson Reuters Foundation dedicated to impartial coverage of LGBT+ issues from around the world.

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