Houston Voters Reject Measure Barring LGBT Discrimination – Huffington Post

Advocacy groups like the Human Rights Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas contributed the most on HERO’s behalf, according to the Houston Chronicle, spending more than $619,000 and $562,000, respectively. 

Major funders of the efforts to sink HERO were Houston real estate executive Allen Hartman, who donated more than $206,000, and GOP donor Steve Hotze, who contributed more than $146,000. 

Matt McTighe, executive director of the pro-LGBT Freedom for All Americans, said there just wasn’t enough time to educate the public on the issue.

“There is a way to talk about this, and there is a way to educate people. The unfortunate thing is that it’s very time-consuming, and it’s also very expensive,” McTighe told The Huffington Post Tuesday night after the loss, calling from Houston.

McTighe, who was also active in the marriage equality movement, noted that wins in that area started happening only after years and years of losses.  

“I feel very much that we’re at the same place as a movement where we were around 2009, when we had lost 32 times in a row every time the word ‘marriage’ appeared on a ballot for gay and lesbian people having the freedom to marry,” McTighe said. “We finally, as a movement, through those losses, learned how to do things differently. We learned how to change our tactics and shift our messaging.”

And finding a silver lining in Tuesday’s loss, McTighe said what they learned through the HERO work was invaluable for moving forward. 

“This is still an issue that hasn’t really come up at the ballot box as much. So the work is really just beginning in terms of how to talk about this, how to message around it in the face of the attacks we are now seeing from our opponents,” McTighe added. “This has been a huge learning experience that we’re going to get a lot out of.” 

There is no federal law protecting LGBT individuals from discrimination, although a group of lawmakers introduced a bill in July that would provide comprehensive protections. 

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