The dodgy math of Question 3′s proponents means programs like ours, not deemed essential-and many unquestionably essential-are certain to be gutted.
Question 3 would open up a $5 Billion deficit in the 2011 Massachusetts budget (out of a total of $16.9 Billion in discretionary state spending), devastating programs benefitting the LGBT community. The following services would face the budget axe if this reckless proposal were enacted by the voters:
LGBT Youth Suicide Prevention
Bullying Prevention and Intervention
Anti-Hate Crimes Law Enforcement
AIDS Prevention and Treatment
Support for LGBT Victims of Hate Crimes
Support for LGBT Victims of Domestic Violence
Outreach and Care for Homeless LGBT Youth
Responses to the Needs of the Growing LGBT Senior Population
Redress for Discrimination
The “tea party” enthusiasts behind Question 3 are trying to deflect attention from inevitable budget catastrophe with falsehoods and dodgy math. In the official information to voters distributed by the Secretary of State, proponents assert that Question 3 would not “reduce spending for cities and towns, police, firefighters, schools, roads — nor any essential service.” They have no role in deciding what gets cut. And they deceive with their assertion that only 5% of $52 Billion in state spending would be affected-these numbers are obviously wrong. The non-partisan Massachusetts Taxpayers’ Foundation warns that passage of Question 3 “would necessitate across-the-board cuts of 30% for most programs including human services, public safety, higher education, and local aid.” Programs of particular benefit to the LGBT community, which few defend as “essential,” would be in grave danger.
At a time when reports of LGBT teen suicide have inundated the news, we cannot afford to dismantle the cutting-edge programs Massachusetts has developed to help at-risk youth. Consider the consequences as you weigh your vote on Ballot Question 3 this November.