Study: Pro-LGBT laws spur global economic growth

Published: November 11, 2014

washington blade
Michael K. Lavers
Original Article:

A study the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law released on Tuesday suggests pro-LGBT laws can spur economic growth in developing countries.

The study examined 29 countries with “emerging” economies: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Egypt, Morocco, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, India, Pakistan and South Africa. It also looked at Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Nepal, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Kenya that had been deemed “countries of interest.”

The study used the Global Index on Legal Recognition of Homosexual Orientation, a Dutch research tool from the 1960s that ranks countries on whether they have decriminalized consensual same-sex sexual acts between adults and seven other factors in relation to rights for gays and lesbians. Researchers also relied upon a preliminary transgender rights index that ranks countries on anti-discrimination laws and 15 other measures.

The Global Index on Legal Recognition of Homosexual Orientation ranks countries on a scale from zero to eight. And researchers concluded that a country’s gross domestic product was $320 — or three percent higher — for each point it gained on the index.

The study also indicates countries with anti-discrimination laws have a per capita GDP that is $1,763 higher than nations without them.

“LGBT inclusion and economic development go hand and hand,” said M.V. Lee Badgett of the Williams Institute on Tuesday during a panel in Northwest D.C.

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