Home News Texas allows social workers to turn away LGBTQ and disabled clients

Texas allows social workers to turn away LGBTQ and disabled clients



AUSTIN, Texas — Texas officials are facing backlash after deciding to allow social workers to turn away clients on the basis of their disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.

At the direction of the governor’s office, the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners voted unanimously to eliminate disability, sexual orientation and gender identity from the nondiscrimination clause of the code of conduct. The board made the decision during a joint meeting Monday with the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council, which oversees regulatory agencies for professions related to mental health.

The National Association of Social Workers criticized the board’s decision to follow the governor’s recommendation rather than seek public comment.

Will Francis, director of the association’s Texas chapter, told the board during public comments that their decision was “incredibly disheartening.”

Abbott’s office said the change was made simply to align the rules with the state’s Occupations Code, which determines how and when the state may discipline social workers.

“It’s not surprising that a board would align its rules with statutes passed by the Legislature,” said Renae Eze, spokeswoman for Abbott’s office.

Francis said the board’s decision creates the impression that people with disabilities can be discriminated against despite federal rules that are in place to protect them.

“It’s disturbing, even if it’s unintentional,” Francis said. “They created space for people to get the impression that this is allowed now. What the governor has done is put people with disabilities at risk for discrimination for no reason.”

Seven advocacy groups, including Equality Texas, Transgender Education Network of Texas and Texas Freedom Network, released a joint statement Thursday decrying the board’s move.

“Pro-discrimination groups couldn’t get this passed into law,” Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller said in the release, “but Gov. Abbott has done their bidding by pushing it through administratively in an obscure meeting when he thought few people were watching.”

Gloria Canseco, presiding officer of the Behavioral Health Council, said topics related to gender and gender identity would be revisited during a council meeting this month. She did not indicate whether the decision to remove protections for people with disabilities would be revisited.



LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

How to avoid the wait and download Windows 10's latest blockbuster update right now

Windows 10 users can download the latest blockbuster update in the coming weeks... or skip the queue (Image: MICROSOFT)After months of waiting, Windows...

Fallon Sherrock boyfriend: Who is Fallon Sherrock dating?

While talking to The Sun back in December, the darts player said: "About six months after I had my little boy in April...

BT and Virgin Media eclipsed by fibre broadband at a ridiculously low price

From now until November 12, you can get double speeds at no extra cost. That means for just £25 per month you'll receive...

ABBA star's damning confession over 'reunion' exposed: 'Only the girls did!'

The Swedish pop supergroup dominated the charts from the Seventies with hits Dancing Queen, Waterloo and more – which will be analysed in...

Recent Comments