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North Texas Senator Don Huffines On Creationism, Dallas' LGBT Ordinance

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Bill Zeeble
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KERA News
District 16 state Senator Don Huffines at his fourth town hall meeting on evening of Veterans Day. To his left is Dallas ISD Trustee Mike Morath. On the other side, Matthew Ladner, with the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a school choice group.

Freshman State Sen. Don Huffines says he would like Dallas’ longstanding LGBT ordinance rescinded or changed.

At his fourth town hall meeting Wednesday night, Huffines said he wants Dallas voters to have the same option Houston residents got this month at the polls. They rejected an equal rights ordinance known as HERO.

“I think the voters in Dallas would love the opportunity to weigh in on that issue and fully vet it," Huffines said. " 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?”

In Dallas, the ordinance protects the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.  On Tuesday, City Council members added wording to distinguish between terms for sexual orientation and sexual identity. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said in a statement following the Tuesday vote: "While we respect others’ points of view, our goal is to protect all of our citizens, including minority groups. ...[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." 

Huffines' town hall meeting in Highland Park drew about 50 people. The senator focused mostly on education with two guests who champion school choice.

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The Senator's comment

The senator for District 16 reiterated his desire to see creationism taught in schools, but not necessarily in science class.

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

Here's what Huffines told KERA in a 2014 interview: “I certainly think all students should be aware of creationism," Huffines said. "They should be aware of that, absolutely. Teaching it as a science, it should be taught on equal footing.”

Huffines is vice chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. He’s also on the Education Committee.

UPDATE - Hear the KERA story with comments from Senator Huffines and Rafael McDonnell, with the Dallas LGBT Task Force. 

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The KERA radio story

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.