As Californians prepare to vote on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in the state a new study shows a wide gap between the incomes of same-sex African American couples and straight black couples.

The study, by the Williams Institute at the University of California Los Angeles, found there are approximately 55,000 lesbian, gay, and bisexual black adults living in California and the state is home to 7,400 black men and women in same-sex relationships.

At 9 percent, it makes California home to the second-largest percentage of the nation’s coupled black men and women.

The study also shows that nearly 55 percent of black women and 11 percent of back men in same-sex couples in California are raising children.

But when compared to opposite-sex black families, gay families have far lower incomes.

“These analyses break stereotypes about gay, lesbian, and bisexual people, like the idea that they are all wealthy.  We find that gay and bisexual black men in California have household incomes that are 44 percent lower than their heterosexual counterparts,” said study co-author Christopher Ramos.

Black gay and bisexual men have median household incomes averaging $25,000 compared to $45,000 for their straight counterparts.

Black women in same-sex couples earn, on average, less than black men in different-sex marriages as well as black males in same-sex couples in California.

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