"Greg Abbott" by Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0

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

Oct 28, 2020

By Sydney Bauer

A Texas regulatory board has reinstated protections that bar social workers from refusing services to LGBTQ people and people with disabilities.

The Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council, or BHEC, on Tuesday unanimously reversed an Oct. 12 decision made by the Texas State Board of Social Work Examiners, which had stripped language from its code of conduct that protected clients from being turned away on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, had recommended that the board remove the nondiscrimination language, suggesting that it went beyond the state’s current policy.

The Texas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers applauded the reversal and said over 24,000 people had signed its online petition protesting the decision to remove the protections.

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