ICYMI: Abbott Rule Allows Texas Social Workers to Turn Away LGBTQ and Disabled Clients

Austin, Texas — This week, the Texas Board of Social Worker Examiners unanimously approved Governor Abbott’s homophobic changes to the state’s Code of Conduct for social workers. The code now allows social workers to turn away clients based on a disability, their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Texas social workers are criticizing a state regulatory board’s decision this week to remove protections for LGBTQ clients and clients with disabilities who seek social work services.”

More from the Texas Tribune:

  • “Gov. Greg Abbott’s office recommended the change, board members said, because the code’s nondiscrimination protections went beyond protections laid out in the state law that governs how and when the state may discipline social workers.”
  • “The nondiscrimination policy change drew immediate criticism from a professional association. Will Francis, executive director of the Texas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, called it ‘incredibly disheartening.’ He also criticized board members for removing the nondiscrimination protections without input from the social workers they license and oversee.”
  • “Steven Parks, a social worker in private practice in Houston who works with child trauma victims, told The Texas Tribune the rule change was ‘both a professional and a personal gut punch.’”

Abbott and Texas Republicans Don’t Give a Damn about the Lives and Well-being of LGBTQ+ and Disabled Texans

Texas Democratic Party Communications Director Abhi Rahman issued the following statement:

“For decades, Texas Republicans like Greg Abbott have done everything within their power to limit the rights of LGBTQ+ and Disabled Texans. Over the years Republicans severely cut funding and protections which once served these communities and have taken legal action to further limit their constitutional rights.”

“Now Abbott furthers that discrimination by changing the state’s Code of Conduct for social workers, allowing them to turn away vulnerable clients on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender idenity or disability. The governor’s orders install systemic ignorance and intolerance rather than inclusion and empathy.” 

“Y’all Means All in Texas! During this early voting period and on election day we must elect Democrats on the ballot to truly represent the diverse makeup of their communities and of the entire state.”