At the Margins: Poor LGBT People Face Increased Legal Aid Needs

A new survey of low-income LGBT New Yorkers exposes the need for better legal services.

News Story (New York)

Rebecca McCray
January 19, 2016

Tags: Legal Needs, LGBTQ

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Services NYC (LSNYC)


Today’s most pressing social justice issues are often tackled one at a time. One organization might focus on economic justice while another directs its energy on racial discrimination, and another serves LGBT youth. Yet the reality is that the vast majority of these issues are deeply intertwined. In an effort to better aid clients at one of those intersections, Legal Services NYC recently conducted a first-of-its-kind survey among low-income LGBT New Yorkers.

The results were published Tuesday in a report called Poverty Is an LGBT Issue, which encompasses the responses of more than 300 low-income LGBT community members who filled out a needs assessment. The report’s authors found that being both poor and LGBT posed specific challenges and amplified the respondents’ needs for legal services to battle discrimination, find housing, secure benefits, and protect their safety.