GOP lawmaker wants Dallas to throw out LGBT protections and for schools to teach creationism

GOP lawmaker wants Dallas to throw out LGBT protections and for schools to teach creationism

Bethania Palma Markus

After Houston voters struck down an ordinance protecting LGBT people from discrimination, a creationist state senator would like Dallas to reconsider its own 13-year-old law that protects the group.

Freshman State Sen. Don Huffiness (R) has been holding town hall meetings to advocate bringing the protections for LGBT people, which have been on city books for 13 years, up to voters, KERA reports.

“I think the voters in Dallas would love the opportunity to weigh in on that issue and fully vet it,” he told the station, though its a long-standing law. ” We need to sit back and look at it in a rational, calm manner and really see what’s the real need? Why do we need it, and what does it really do?”

Critics of the movement against the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, or HERO, have said campaigning against LGBT rights was anything but rational and calm, describing ads as fear-mongering that men would be following women and girls into bathroom stalls.

As a state senator, Huffiness doesn’t have a direct legislative role in Dallas city ordinances, which are handled by the City Council. Drumming up support from potential anti-gay voters may be a way around a bill Huffiness proposed but got little support for from city governments.

The bill, according to The Statesman, would have barred local governments statewide from adopting ordinances that protect LGBT people. The bill as of April was opposed by dozens of Texas cities because it “violates the whole concept of local control.”

The Dallas City Council has already voted unanimously to uphold language in the city ordinance protecting the LGBT community from discrimination.

“While we respect others’ points of view, our goal is to protect all of our citizens, including minority groups,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said in a statement. “[The] unanimous City Council vote did not change the scope of our 13-year-old anti-discrimination ordinance. We took action that is consistent with what our voters approved last year and the protections already afforded to our employees.”

According to KERA, Huffiness also used his town hall meetings to push for teaching Creationism — a religious idea not accepted by academic authorities that the Christian god created the Earth 6,000 years ago — in public schools.

“I look at creationism as believing in a supreme being, believing in God,” Huffines said at the town hall Wednesday. “I believe all students should understand that. Maybe not as science, but certainly in the context of a curriculum.”

The meeting drew about 50 people and was Huffiness’ fourth of its kind.

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