HARTFORD, Conn. — Democratic legislative leaders say they believe the sexual orientation of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s choice for Connecticut’s next chief justice may have cost him support among some Judiciary Committee members.

Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff said Tuesday that Republicans on the committee “should be ashamed of themselves” for how they acted during Monday’s hearing that ended with a tie vote on the nomination. He says many questions asked of Justice Andrew McDonald during 13 hours of testimony were insensitive and inflammatory.

Duff says he hopes the lawmakers will vote “for somebody based on their qualifications and not their lifestyle” when McDonald’s nomination comes before the full House and Senate.

McDonald is gay.

GOP legislative leaders are expected to react to the comments.