Senator cites Sam in call for anti-bias bill

Feb 11, 2014

missouri capitol
Missouri Capitol
Credit Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

A Missouri senator is calling on the Legislature to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation in light of a former University of Missouri football player's decision to publicly come out as gay.

Michael Sam told news outlets Sunday he hopes to become the first openly gay player in the NFL.

State Senator Scott Sifton, a St. Louis Democrat, said on Monday that lawmakers should use Sam's announcement as a rallying cry to pass anti-discrimination legislation.

Missouri law now bars discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex and disability. This year's bill would add sexual orientation to that list.

Democratic Governor Jay Nixon has also asked lawmakers to pass the bill, but his call received a tepid response from the Republican-controlled Legislature.