Shareholders of Exxon Mobil defeated a resolution on Wednesday to explicitly ban discrimination against gays. The Exxon board had argued that the company already banned discrimination of any type and did not need to add language regarding gays. The vote, rejected by shareholders by a 4-to-1 ratio, was a repeat. The measure was first up for a vote in 1999, and it has been on the agenda for 14 consecutive years. The ban was proposed by a retirement fund for employees of New York State.