CHICAGO — The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) and Equality Illinois have put their support behind a push for a $15 an hour minimum wage in Illinois.
Equality Illinois said on their website that a higher minimum wage would be a huge help to the LGBTQ communities of the state.
A $15 minimum wage can elevate many LGBTQ people out of poverty and provide an opportunity for greater economic security for us and our families. In a 2014 study, the Williams Institute at UCLA predicted that raising the federal minimum wage from its current level of $7.25 to $15 an hour would reduce LGBT poverty by one-third for male same-sex couples and by almost one-half for female same-sex couples. The percentage of poor female same-sex couples would fall from 6.9% to 3.7%, a 46% drop in poverty. Poverty among men in same-sex couples would fall from 3.4% to 2.2%, a drop of 35% in poverty. The poverty rates of married different-sex couples would also decrease from 5.6% to 3.1%. Almost 30,000 people in same-sex couples would see their incomes rise above the federal poverty level.
AFC put out an email call for their supporters to contact their state representatives to push for a higher minimum wage.
Higher wages can make it easier for workers and their families to afford medical care, health insurance and remove barriers affecting people’s ability to stay linked and retained into medical care.
If we are planning to Get to Zero in Illinois, we must ensure that basic subsistence needs are met for all people living with and vulnerable to HIV.