No News is Bad News. Join the SA Current Press Club.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Board reverses decision that would let Texas social workers discriminate against LGBTQ clients

Posted By on Tue, Oct 27, 2020 at 3:44 PM

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
After an outcry from lawmakers and activists, a Texas regulatory board voted unanimously Tuesday to reverse an earlier rule change that would have let social workers refuse to help clients who are LGBTQ+ or have a disability.

The Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council (BHEC) voted to undo another unanimous decision it made two weeks ago that removed such protections from the state's code of conduct for social workers, the Texas Tribune reports.



The board initially struck down the protections at the recommendation of Gov. Greg Abbott's office, which maintained that the code went beyond existing law that governs how the state is allowed to regulate social work. 

Gloria Canseco, who leads the board, said she regretted that the first vote had been "perceived as hostile to the LGBTQ+ community or to disabled persons," according to the Tribune.

State Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, one of the lawmakers who authored a letter asking the board to reverse its change to the code, praised the reversal.

"It is courageous to do the right thing, when someone in power advises you otherwise," Menéndez said in an emailed statement. "We appreciate that this morning, BHEC made the decision to stand on the right side of history. We stand with our social workers — there is no place for discrimination in Texas."

BHEC also voted to ask Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican and Abbott ally, to rule on the legality of the reversal, the Tribune reports. Paxton's office has traditionally opposed expanding protections for LGBTQ+ Texans.

"I urge you to join me in continuing the pursuit towards equality, and contact the Attorney General’s office expressing your support of BHEC’s decision to restore these protections," Menéndez said.

Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Sign up for our Weekly Headlines Newsletter.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

San Antonio Current works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of San Antonio and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep San Antonio's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 18, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2020 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation