Post submitted by Meg Tsuda, HRC Workplace Equality Project Intern:

Michael SamHistory was made on May 10, 2014, when the St. Louis Rams drafted the first openly gay player into the NFL. Michael Sam, who publicly came out as gay earlier this year, was overjoyed by the draft pick, saying, “I am going to give everything I’ve got to the St. Louis Rams to help the Rams win a championship.”

The NFL has a non-discrimination policy that protects Sam from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but discrimination doesn’t only happen in the workplace.  Fortunately, St. Louis scored 100 points on HRC’s Municipal Equality Index - in part because it has an inclusive non-discrimination ordinance that includes employment, housing, and public accommodations – making it one of 25 cities to do so in 2013.  St. Louis’s perfect score is especially commendable because the city is located in a state that does not have supportive state law, so the 100 point lift was made by the city of St. Louis alone.  The Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA) is currently under consideration by the state legislature.

As we congratulate Michael Sam for this incredible personal achievement and celebrate the progress in the LGBT movement, we should also applaud the city home to the St. Louis Rams.  St. Louis has clearly demonstrated that LGBT equality is important to their city, and we could not be more excited that St. Louis will be the place Michael Sam will now call home!

The Municipal Equality Index (MEI) examines the laws, policies, and services of municipalities around the country and rates them on how inclusive they are of LGBT people.   For more information about the MEI, please visit: St. Louis’s scorecard is located here.

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