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  • NASW-IL Staff

NASW supports lawmakers punished for supporting gender-affirming care, sensible gun laws

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is alarmed by attacks on democracy, including actions taken in the Tennessee and Montana state legislatures to silence lawmakers who support sensible gun laws and gender-affirming care. “NASW stands in solidarity with Montana’s first transgender state legislator Rep. Zooey Zephyr, who was barred from the House floor for the remainder of the session after she spoke in opposition to a ban on gender-affirming care, which resulted in protest,” said NASW CEO Anthony Estreet, PhD, MBA, LCSW-C. “We also stand in support of Tennessee lawmakers including Reps. Justin Pearson, Justin Jones, and Gloria Johnson, who took part in a demonstration in support of gun control laws after the mass shooting at Covenant School in Nashville on March 27. Both Rep. Pearson and Jones were temporarily expelled.” “And we support the diverse voices of everyone who wants to participate in the democratic process,” Estreet said. The NASW Code of Ethics calls on this association and the social work profession to challenge social injustices and work on behalf of people who are oppressed, including transgender people seeking gender-affirming care. The code also calls on social workers to take part in political action, including on social justice issues.

The association is deeply concerned by efforts to suppress the democratic process by punishing lawmakers who express views different from the legislative majority in some states. NASW urges social workers to take the following actions to support our democracy:

  • Contact your NASW chapter to learn how you can volunteer to support legislation that promotes the social work profession and issues important to social workers.

  • When individual rights are in jeopardy actively supporting the election of persons who value democracy is crucial. Consider donating to candidates who support the social work profession.

  • Check out NASW's Political Action for Candidate Election (PACE)

  • Consider signing up for NASW Legislative Alerts to help us contact lawmakers to pass federal legislation important to social workers. You may also reach out to your chapter to find out how you can receive their action alerts regarding issues in your locality. There is power in numbers.

(In photo from left: Tennessee state Rep. Gloria Johnson; Tennessee state Rep. Justin Pearson; Tennessee state Rep. Justin Johnson; and Montana state Rep. Zooey Zephyr)


The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.

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