MassEquality News - July 24, 2017

MassEquality News

July 24, 2017


Two yellow traffic signs against a blue sky. The top sign has a dollar sign on it, and the lower sign reads "BUDGET".Baker Cuts Funding for LGBTQ Programs and Services in FY18 State Budget

While Governor Baker signed the FY18 state budget into law early last week, he vetoed several budget items relevant to the LGBTQ community. These budget cuts affect services for youth at risk (including LGBTQ youth) and HIV/AIDS programs and services.

While we don't know the exact timing yet, both the House and Senate typically override most of these vetoes during a full formal session of the legislature.

Please make your voice heard and guarantee that this money stays in the budget to support vital services for the LGBTQ community—call your State Representative and Senator and ask them to restore funding for the following line items now:

  • Youth Violence Prevention Programs (4000-0005)
  • HIV Programs and Services (4512-0103)
  • School Health Services (4590-0250)
  • Youth At Risk Program (7002-0012)
  • Youth At Risk Matching Grants (4590-1507)

Don't know who your State legislators are? Visit and enter your postal address to find their names and contact information. Thank you for taking action to restore funding for these important programs and services!

[Photo Credit:]


U.S. map showing states that have passed conversion therapy ban laws. Rhode Island Becomes 9th State to Ban Conversion Therapy

On Thursday, July 20th, Governor Gina Raimondo signed into law a bill that bans licensed mental health professionals from using conversion therapy to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a minor. The bill passed unanimously in the House of Representatives on May 30th, and received only one No vote in the Senate a month later. In passing this bill, Rhode Island joins Vermont and Connecticut as the third New England state and the ninth state in the nation (plus Washington, DC) to protect LGBTQ youth from the harms caused by conversion therapy.

MassEquality applauds Governor Raimondo and the Rhode Island legislature in taking this important step to affirm and protect LGBTQ youth. We will continue to post the latest news and activism opportunities in support of Massachusetts' conversion therapy ban bill in the weeks ahead.

[Image courtesy of the Movement Advancement Project]