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Texas Reverses Decision To Allow Social Workers To Deny LGBTQ+ And Disabled Clients

by : Mike Williams on : 28 Oct 2020 13:41
Texas Reverses Decision To Allow Social Workers To Deny LGBTQ And Disabled ClientsPixabay/PA Images

The decision to allow discrimination against LGBTQ and disabled people in Texas has been overturned.

Only a week ago had the Texan State Board of Social Work Examiners agree to remove sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability from its non-discrimination clause, leading to an outcry for them to treat everyone equally and with respect.

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Since then, and at the now revised recommendation of Governor Greg Abbottt, the non-discriminatory protections and subsequent ruling has been reversed, meaning the aforementioned members of the LGBTQ community and anyone that identifies as disabled will be treated the same as anyone else.

The Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council (BHEC) quite rightly revoked the bigoted ruling, via a unanimous decision, last Tuesday October 27, after the TSBSWE’s controversial decision on October 12.

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Abbott, the state’s Republican governor, had initially suggested the board should remove the non-discrimination language, suggesting it went beyond Texas’s current policy.

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After coming under increased fire for the move, the Texas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers has celebrated the U-turn that now grants the state’s citizens equal rights, after a 24,000-strong petition was presented to oppose the inhumane policy.

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‘This was a big win today for advocacy, the board and for non-discrimination,’ said Will Francis, the association’s executive director.

Yet despite the positive outcome on this occasion, Francis emphasised that such rights in the future could come under fire once more. ‘But this is still Texas, and there are not underlying protections for LGBTQ persons. So had these non-discrimination protections been stripped away, that really would have left people vulnerable, so we need legislation that ensures that there is protection,’ he further explained.

Even after the nine-member council reversed the bigoted decision, they still sought the input of the state’s Attorney General, Ken Paxton (R), which was criticised by LGBTQ organisation Equality Texas. They say his inclusion could severely harm LGBTQ protection and legitimise ‘an opinion from an attorney general who has built his career in part on promoting discrimination against LGBTQ+ Texans,’ NBC News reports.

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‘We can attest that the October 12 vote and rule change did great harm to the mental health and wellbeing of many LGBTQ and disabled people across Texas,’ CEO of Equality Texas, Ricardo Martinez, voiced. ‘A good faith analysis of this issue affirms what is clearly written into state statute: the BHEC has the power to set ethical standards for licensed social workers,’ concluded his statement on the matter.

Menéndez said he intends to work towards such open discrimination being barred in the future, by consulting with Rep. Jessica González, a Democrat from Dallas, about creating non-discriminatory legislation for all.

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Topics: News, Disabilities, discrimination, LGBT Rights, LGBTQ+ community, Politics, Texas, US Politics

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  1. NBC News

    Texas reverses decision that allowed social workers to deny LGBTQ, disabled clients