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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - 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 Sen. Scott Sifton, a St. Louis Democrat, said 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 Gov. Jay Nixon has also asked lawmakers to pass the bill, but his call received a tepid response from the Republican-controlled Legislature.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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