Sobonya said she represents a conservative district and has heard more from constituents opposed to such proposals.
"From what people I'm hearing from, it's their religious freedom," Sobonya said. "A lot of them who talk to me aren't giving a reason, they just want me to vote against it."
Skinner said the best-case scenario had the bill passing by one vote with significant changes. That wasn't good enough, in his opinion.
Neither Skinner nor Skaff mentioned who would not have voted for the bill or who would have proposed the amendments. Within moments of Skinner's speech, critics asked why he didn't want the record to show how legislators felt about the bill or any changes.
Skinner admitted Fairness West Virginia, a pro-gay rights advocacy group that he worked for before being elected, might have wanted "a vote at all costs."
But he thinks it could be easier to sway delegates who are on the fence if the bill is not voted upon at this point. If those delegates were forced to commit to a roll-call vote -- Skinner was assured it would come to that in today's committee meeting -- and they voted against the measure, Skinner thinks it could have been twice as hard for them to reverse on a publicly taken position.
Anyone can second-guess what he did, said Skinner, a freshman lawmaker. He said he might be wrong and many have more experience. But considering the possible outcomes, he concluded that "today would not have been a good day."
"If your best-case scenario is one vote ... this is not like any other bill so that there's going to be a reluctance to put back in what was taken out," Skinner said. "At what point do you start saying we need to look at another option?"
The Senate has passed such a bill in the past, only to see it die in the House. Inaction again from the House didn't sit well with Senate President Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, an ardent supporter of the bill.
"I think people over there are afraid of the dark," he said Wednesday.
Kessler said he was "embarrassed" at the state's lack of acceptance, calling the House's reluctance to act "disgusting." He thinks delegates would have been embarrassed to vote against the measure had it come to a roll-call vote.
Sen. Brooks McCabe, D-Kanawha, has been the lead sponsor of the measure in the Senate for the past two years. He didn't want to speak to the actions of fellow lawmakers but thinks the Senate probably would have changed any measure produced in the House.
Any changes made to a House bill in the Senate then would have gone back to the House for concurrence or further tweaking.
Both Skinner and Skaff said they hope the bill can move further next year. Skaff said it picked up a little momentum this session, and Skinner hopes his floor speech affected a few people.
Next year is an election year. While Skinner acknowledged many elected officials like to skirt controversial issues as they prepare to campaign, he thinks everyone can see a vote that's cast regardless of when it's cast.
Both he and Kessler downplayed the idea that voting in support of a pro-gay measure could lead to a lawmaker's ouster. Kessler said when groups have tried to attack him for his support of the bill, he has "kicked their backsides."
Skinner said, "I think people overstate the political consequences of voting against discrimination. This is not marriage. We're not talking about marriage."
Zack Harold and The Associated Press contributed to this story.