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House Democrats unruly after LGBT protection amendment narrowly fails

By Allen Cone
House Democrats unruly after LGBT protection amendment narrowly fails
U.S. House minority whip Steny Hoyer was angry that some Republicans changed their vote at the last minute on an amendment to protect members of the LGBT community from being discriminated against by federal contractors. File photo by Debbie Hill/ UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, May 19 (UPI) -- Democrat members of the U.S. House of Representatives became enraged after an amendment that would have protected members of the LGBT community failed.

It was a chaotic scene as Democrats chanted "shame, shame, shame" after Republicans found enough votes to defeat the amendment 213-212, a few seconds after it looked like it was going to pass 217-206.

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The amendment, by Rep. Patrick Malone, D-N.Y., would have prevented federal contractors from receiving contacts from the federal government if they discriminated against gay, lesbian and transgender people.

Democrats thought they had enough Republicans supporting the measure but then several changed their votes.

When the vote become final, Democrats stood and started shouting.

Republicans stood silently, with some expressing disappointment.

After voting was closed and the shouting continued, the chair announced, "There will be order in this chamber."

Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., responded: "no there will not be," as she stood close to the podium.

Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., asked his Democratic colleagues to restrain themselves, and asked who changed their vote at the last minute.

"I was standing in the well and no one came and no one had the courage to come into the well to change their vote, but notwithstanding that, the vote kept changing. Mr. Speaker, from a parliamentary perspective, how is that possible?" Hoyer asked.

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Hoyer told reporters he will investigate who changed their votes.

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., had left before the chaos to conduct his weekly news conference.

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