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News & Press: Updates for Members

NASW-NC Position on NC Anti-LGBT Law

Friday, March 25, 2016   (8 Comments)
Posted by: Valerie Arendt
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The National Association of Social Workers North Carolina Chapter is distressed the North Carolina legislature and governor have signed into law legislation that would discriminate against people who are LGBT. The chapter is committed to working with its allies in the legislature, coalition groups and its members to overturn this harmful legislation.


On March 23, 2016, the North Carolina General Assembly convened a one day special session to introduce one single bill that prevents local governments from passing nondiscrimination ordinances. This legislation was written behind closed doors by the Republican majority, made public around 10:30am and only allowed 30 minutes of public comment per the House and Senate committees addressing the bill. It was then signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory within four hours of receiving the legislation. The democratic process was clearly ignored during this session.


The law (House Bill 2) covers a number of policies that specifically require anti-LGBT discrimination or prevent the enforcement of protections against it, and that limits local government authority.

  • All public agency restrooms, school restrooms and locker rooms that are not single-occupancy must be single-sex and must be limited based upon an individual’s “biological sex” as “is stated on a person’s birth certificate.”
  • All local laws governing nondiscrimination practices in public accommodations and employee rights (minimum wages, overtime, benefits, etc.) in employment are preempted and superseded by state laws.
  • Individuals cannot bring “any civil action” based upon the state’s employment or public accommodation nondiscrimination protections.
  • Cities and counties are prohibited from writing non-discrimination ordinances that protect LGBT people or veterans.

Kay Castillo, NASW-NC Director of Advocacy, Policy, and Legislation said, “The actions taken by the North Carolina General Assembly were done in a misleading attempt to cover up discrimination. Legislators misrepresented information on this issue to the public stating that this legislation was needed to stop child abuse and sexual assault from happening in public restrooms following a local ordinance passed by the Charlotte City Council. This legislation discriminates and prevents cities and counties from putting protections in place for their citizens.”


According to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics, “Social workers should act to prevent and eliminate domination of, exploitation of, and discrimination against person, group, or class on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, political belief, religion, or mental or physical disability,” NASW Code of Ethics (2008).


Kathy Boyd NASW-NC Chapter Director said, “Social workers are expected to practice in a non-discriminatory way. Our NASW Code of Ethics is the core of our profession and such discrimination is inherently against our practice.” 



Sean Pumphrey LCSW says...
Posted Saturday, April 2, 2016
Officially, we live in a fascist state, we know now that Hitler gained citizenship one day before he became Chancellor. These legislators pushed through a law on a similar timeline. Even without the hate they espouse on discrimination based upon fear, the law on the basic level mandates the local government to bend to the will of the state when they believe that federal "intrusion" is illegal (refer to state rights versus federal rights). It is duplicitous, uninformed, opinionated, and a mandate to discriminate. We must rise up to vote, be heard, and utilize the judicial system (Supreme Court, our legislative system is broken) to overturn this uninformed law that is not the will of the people but only for a select few.
Jonadab S. Franco says...
Posted Friday, April 1, 2016
“Every new and successful example of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical (religious) and civil matters is of importance.” ~Founding Father James Madison, letter, 1822.
Jonadab S. Franco says...
Posted Friday, April 1, 2016
This is not a "Religion Freedom" bill, it is simply a TROJAN HORSE to persecute and discriminate those who are different from you. I think our founding father Thomas Jefferson said it best when he said: “Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the “wall of separation between church and state,” therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society." ~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson: in a speech to the Virginia Baptists Don't you think our current state government (legislature and executive branch) are using their power to support themselves and force their views on other persons? Vive la liberté
Kay Castillo says...
Posted Thursday, March 31, 2016
NASW-NC plans to lobby with coalition partners and legislators to repeal HB 2 during the upcoming legislative short session. We will send out information regarding protests and rallies through our advocacy alert system so make sure you're signed up to receive them! Further, we support the ACLU and Equality NC in their recently announced lawsuit against the legislation. Our Political Action Committee will be working to elect candidates into office this fall that support the social work profession and our values and would thus vote against any legislation like HB 2! We support social workers getting involved with local campaigns to get social work friends elected!
Robyn R. Codrington says...
Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2016
I am definitely interested in actively advocating for the people effected by this. @Reia Chapman, I would love more information about meetings, etc.
Reia Chapman says...
Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2016
I'm an LCSW based in Charlotte and have for years organized with grassroots organizations in NC and across the south. Yes, we were in Raleigh and Charlotte after HB2 organizing, demonstrating, educating, and serving our state. Last night I was a part of a Town Hall meeting in Charlotte with Equality NC to discuss how Religious Exemption bills (RFRA) harm real people. As social workers we are ethically bound to lift up and support the MOST marginalized in our society. I've organized delegations all over the country where injustice is found and would welcome any social worker to connect with on these issues. We have the power and leverage of a national platform that we are not using to full capacity to amplify what's really happening in our communities. We need more social workers visibly at meetings, rallies, demonstrations, and state capitols. If you're interested in how to become involved please contact me to get connected.
Jennifer Shealy says...
Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2016
This is discriminatory, ridiculous and embarrassing. Do we have NASW reps going to Raleigh about this? Let us know how to help resolve this!!
Sabrina Southern says...
Posted Friday, March 25, 2016
Whatever I can do count me all those I know have a stake in this fight...reach out and connect. Be respectful, be open, be honest but be brave. #WeAreNotThis

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