Lee Badgett

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Mary Virginia Lee Badgett (born c. 1960) is an economist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, best known for her research into economic issues relevant to lesbians, gay men, and their families.

Badgett earned a B.A. in economics from the University of Chicago in 1982, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1990. From 1990 to 1997 she was on the faculty at the University of Maryland, College Park, and in 1997 she joined the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Since 2005 Badgett has also been the research director at the UCLA Williams Institute.

Badgett's research has debunked the myth that gay and lesbian Americans are more affluent than straight people.[1] She has also documented the effects on taxation of government recognition of same-sex marriage, showing in 2007 that same-sex couples pay on average more than $1000 annually than similarly situated opposite-sex couples whose marriage is recognized.[2] This research has been cited by numerous companies and institutions who have altered their employee compensation and benefits to try to remedy the disparity.[2] Badgett has testified as an expert witness before Congress[3] and other legislatures,[4] and in various litigations regarding same-sex marriage, including the Proposition 8 trial.[5]


  • When Gay People Get Married: What Happens When Societies Legalize Same-Sex Marriage (NYU Press, 2009)
  • Co-Editor, Sexual Orientation Discrimination: An International Perspective (Routledge, 2007)
  • Money, Myths, and Change: The Economic Lives of Lesbians and Gay Men (University of Chicago Press, 2001)


  1. ^ Badgett, Money, Myths, and Change.
  2. ^ a b Carlos Santoscoy, "Time Warner To Pay Gay Couple's Tax On Benefits", On Top Magazine, Aug. 24, 2012.
  3. ^ See, e.g., Chris Geidner, "Senate Committee Holds Hearing into ENDA; Harkin Gives No Commitment on Mark-Up", MetroWeekly, June 12, 2012 (Badgett testifying in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, aka ENDA).
  4. ^ See, e.g., Testimony by Dr. M.V. Lee Badgett to the California State Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee", April 26, 2006.
  5. ^ Howard Mintz, "Prop. 8 Trial Day 6: Live Coverage from the Courtroom", San Jose Mercury, Jan. 19, 2010.

External links[edit]

  • "Lee Badgett", Faculty Profile, Dept. of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • "Lee Badgett", Faculty Profile, Center for Research on Families, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • "Selected Works", University of Massachusetts Amherst ScholarWorks (institutional repository)