This past week, legislators met for three long days as promised at the end of last mini session in July. This mini session was to address the Defense of Marriage bill. NASW-NC members participated in many activities organized by Equality, NC and was inspired to watch their advocacy efforts and hard fight! Sadly, with just enough votes in both the House and the Senate, the bill was passed and ratified. In May, voters will have the chance to decide on the amendment.
What was the bill about?
The bill would provide an amendment to our state Constitution that would define marriage between one man and one woman and this would be the only recognized legal union in the state of NC (which is already a law here). During the May primary, voters will have the chance to vote on this Constitutional Amendment. If voters decide to vote no, the amendment will not be made. If voters decide yes, this amendment will be made to our Constitution; further discriminating our citizens. From now until then, NASW-NC, with the help of the PACE and Legislative Committees will be working with other organization on a campaign to vote no on this amendment.
Why is NASW-NC getting involved with this issue?
Our Code of Ethics is very clear about discrimination. We wrote a position paper on this very issue. It can be found by clicking here. Social workers are bound to the Code of Ethics in our practice and advocate on issues based on what is stated in our Code.
What can you do to help?
- Join the PACE and/or Legislative Committees if you're a member. These groups will be working on campaign efforts and other documents social workers can use.
- Write an Op-Ed to your local newspaper. Share with them how specific our Code of Ethics are about this issue.
- Continue to communicate with your legislators about how this issue affects you, your family, your practice, etc. They need to know how their constituents feel. Click here to find out who represents you.
- Talk to other social workers at your school, your place of employment or other networks you're a part of to let them know about this issue and what our Code of Ethics states.
From NASW's Code of Ethics (2008):
Social workers should not practice, condone, facilitate, or
collaborate with any form of discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, political belief, religion or mental or physical disability.
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.”
To view our Code of Ethics, click here.
To view National's information on Diversity and Equity, click here.