Update: Texas Reverses Policy After Social Work Response

Published on : October 28, 2020

Due to the overwhelming response from social workers, educators, students, lawmakers, the Texas State Board of Social Workers and the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council on October 27 reversed a controversial decision that would have allowed social workers to discriminate against clients based on the client’s sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or disability.  

“This is a welcome decision that shows the power of advocating with one voice against injustice. While this is a moment to celebrate the hard work and swift response of the Texas social work community and allies across the country, there is more work to be done to protect the rights of all individuals in Texas and throughout the United States,” said CSWE President and CEO Darla Spence Coffey, PhD, MSW.  

Texas statute does not currently recognize sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and disability as protected classes. CSWE and the National Association of Social Workers condemned the October 12 decision and called for codifying these protections in state statute, which already prohibit discrimination based on race, religion, or age.