Joseph Papa of Equality Virginia pointed out to the Washington Blade the proposed amendment would have codified into law Gov. Ralph Northam’s executive order that bans discrimination against LGBT state employees.
The proposed amendment failed by a 52-48 vote margin, with all of the chamber’s Republicans opposing it.
State Del. Mark Keam (D-Fairfax County) — who supports LGBT rights in the General Assembly — also voted against the proposed amendment. The Fairfax County Democrat in a statement later said his vote was a mistake.
“I screwed up,” said Kean on his Twitter page. “For nine years in @VAHouse have ALWAYS voted for equality and against discrimination. Sorry to have surprised my @VAHouseDems colleagues.”
In case you're wondering why I voted with @vahousegop on anti-discrimination amendment to House Budget, answer is simple: I screwed up! For 9 years in @VaHouse I have ALWAYS voted for equality and against discrimination. Sorry to have surprised my @VAHouseDems colleagues! pic.twitter.com/xoEsJWjrR1
— Mark L. Keam (@MarkKeam) February 22, 2018
State Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) in her own tweet described Keam as “a champion for equality.”
“We all make mistakes,” wrote Roem, using the hashtag #oops. “Del. Keam is a good friend and an incredible colleague.”
— Danica Roem (@pwcdanica) February 22, 2018