A third gay rights bill died Tuesday in
a Virginia House subcommittee, the AP reported.
Senator Donald McEachin's bill would
have banned state agencies from discriminating on the basis of sexual
orientation. McEachin, a Richmond Democrat, introduced the measure
after Republican Governor Bob McDonnell omitted such protections for
state workers in an executive order signed on February 5. It
replaced orders by Virginia's last two Democratic governors which
included employment protections for gay and lesbian workers.
Five Republicans – Delegates John
Cosgrove, Bill Carrico, Edward T. “Ed” Scott, Todd Gilbert and
Richard Anderson – overwhelmed three Democrats – Delegates Jeion
Ward, Betsy Carr and Luke Torian – in defeating the bill.
A vote in the same House subcommittee
on a similar bill that included gender identity in addition to sexual
orientation yielded the same 5-to-3 result last month.
The subcommittee also did away with a
bill sponsored by Delegate Kenneth R. Plum that would have outlawed
discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity for
all Virginians in the areas of employment and public accommodations.
Citing the House's overwhelming
Republican majority, most Capitol watchers had predicted defeat for
all three measures in the lower chamber.
Democratic senators, with the aid of
one Republican, Senator Fred Quayle, approved a bill with similar
protections for gay state employees last month.