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Openly Gay Missouri Politician: Stories Like Michael Sam's Can Help Repeal State's Marriage Ban

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Openly gay Missouri state representative Mike Colona is working to repeal his state's ban on same-sex marriage, and he might get a little help from the powerful coming out story of Michael Sam.

Colona spoke with HuffPost Live's Marc Lamont Hill on May 12 about whether Sam's recent draft to the St. Louis Rams could influence the efforts to rid Missouri of its prohibition on same-sex marriage.

Missouri was the first state to pass a gay marriage ban in 2004, but Colona said stories like Sam's illustrate how far the state has come since.

"The biggest change that we've had is the simple fact that so many people have come out. When I ran for office, it was seven years ago. Part of my political platform was to try to change some of the discrimination laws in Missouri. So I ran as an out gay individual. But part of that message was you don’t really have to be involved in politics to be able to affect something like this. If we really want to change the hearts and minds of people, what we need to do is come out and just share our story. If you think about it over the past five, six, seven years, our friends, neighbors, family members, siblings, have all come out and shared their story with us, and I think that's the biggest difference between now and 10 or 11 years ago."

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation about Missouri's same-sex laws below:

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