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Central Standard

Michael Sam And The State Of Gay Acceptance In The Midwest

Ten years ago, the people of Missouri overwhelmingly voted to change the state constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Last week, when openly gay football player Michael Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams, in Missouri, the outcry condemning Sam's lifestyle stood in stark contrast to an overwhelming outpouring of support. And back in February, when Sam made a public announcement declaring his sexual orientation, a small handful of protestors was met by a huge crowd of Mizzou fans and Sam supporters.

On Monday's Central Standard, we examined whether the conversation about gay rights and gay acceptance has shifted here in the heartland in recent years.


  • Tom Poe, professor of communications at UMKC and advocate in LGBT issues for 35 years
  • Victor Wishna, Sports Commentator for KCUR
Central Standard LGBTQ+college sports
People don't make cameos in news stories; the human story is the story, with characters affected by news events, not defined by them. As a columnist and podcaster, I want to acknowledge what it feels like to live through this time in Kansas City, one vantage point at a time. Together, these weekly vignettes form a collage of daily life in Kansas City as it changes in some ways, and stubbornly resists change in others. You can follow me on Twitter @GinaKCUR or email me at gina@kcur.org.
Matthew Long-Middleton has been a talk-show producer, community producer, Media Training Manager and now the Community Engagement Manager at KCUR. You can reach him at Matthew@kcur.org, or on Twitter @MLMIndustries.