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.