Houston Unites announced the campaign haul in a required campaign filing ahead of the Nov. 3 vote on Proposition 1, the ballot referendum that will decide the sweeping nondiscrimination law’s fate.
The Campaign for Houston, a coalition of HERO opponents, announced they spent $492,231.11 since launching their campaign and received $274,785 in donations in their latest report.
HERO would extend protect LGBT people, as well as other federally protected classes, from discrimination by businesses that serve the public, private employers, housing, city employment and city contracting. Religious institutions would be exempt.
Violators could be fined up to $5,000.
HERO passed Houston City Council last year but has been mired in legal battles lead by its opponents since.
They hit the airwaves last month with a transphobic ad falsely stating proposition’s passage would allow men access to women’s bathrooms, giving them the chance to prey on women and girls in those facilities.
“We have certainly done well on the money front so far and appreciate the grassroots groundswell from hundreds of Houstonians who have contributed to this effort,” said Richard Carlbom, Houston Unites campaign manager. “But, there is a great sense of urgency around fundraising this week and next. We know from past ballot campaigns that equal rights opponents spend significant dollars in the final weeks. We must remain competitive with them in what will, no doubt, be a close election.”