Over time, pay discrimination has persisted, but the pay differential appears to be decreasing. Read More. This explanation gains appeal when you compare the demographics of gay and heterosexual men in this sample: Even without passing ENDA, Congress can pass legislation aimed at eliminating wage disparities based on sexual orientation and gender identity in a manner similar to the Equal Pay Act. Whether this means fewer of us are moving to bigger cities or that more of us are comfortable with being out in smaller communities remains to be seen. Whereas 9 percent of children living with heterosexual married parents are living in poverty, 21 percent of children being raised by male same-sex couples and 20 percent of children being raised by female same-sex couples live in poverty. But the possibilities are fascinating.
It could be, for example, that historically strong associations between gay men and the HIV epidemic contributed heavily to negative attitudes toward gay men specifically and that reductions in these views benefited gay men relative to straight men but not lesbians relative to straight women.
This explanation gains appeal when you compare the demographics of gay and heterosexual men in this sample: Over time, pay discrimination has persisted, but the pay differential appears to be decreasing. Current regulations already prohibit contractors from discriminating on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, and religion.
It's important to note that the gay and lesbian earnings premium was still observed even when the researchers statistically controlled for these differences; however, the fact that gay and straight folks differed in so many ways suggests that there could be other, unaccounted for differences between these groups that could potentially explain the wage differences.