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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Michael Sam received a standing ovation when he appeared on the arena video boards during Missouri's basketball game against Tennessee on Saturday.

The All-America defensive end who could became the first openly gay player in the NFL, later a blew a kiss to the student section and shook hands with fans.

Sam and football team were honored at halftime for their Cotton Bowl win over Oklahoma State.

Wearing a shirt declaring "We Are All CoMo Sexuals," 51-year-old Michelle Carmichael joined more than a thousand others in forming a line of support for Sam.

The shirt plays off the nickname of Columbia, where Sam announced to his teammates in August that he was gay. The NFL hopeful shared his sexuality with the world last Sunday.

Sunday, 16 February 2014 07:55
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Opponents of same-sex marriage are scrambling to find effective responses, in Congress and state legislatures, to a rash of court rulings that would force some of America's most conservative states to accept gay nuptials.

Some gay-marriage foes are backing a bill introduced in Congress that would leave states in charge of their marriage policies, though it stands little chance of passing. They're also endorsing bills in statehouses — some intended to protect gay-marriage bans, and others to assert a right, based on religious freedom, to have nothing to do with gay marriages.

Federal judges have voided part or all of the same-sex marriage bans in Utah, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Virginia. Each ruling has been stayed pending appeals, and a final nationwide resolution may be a few years away.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of U.S. soldiers forced out of the Army because of crimes or misconduct has soared in the past several years.

That's as the military emerges from a decade of war that put a greater focus on battle competence than on character.

Data obtained by The Associated Press shows that the number of officers who left the Army due to misconduct more than tripled in the past three years.

The number of enlisted soldiers forced out for drugs, alcohol, crimes and other misconduct jumped from about 5,600 in 2007 as the Iraq war peaked, to more than 11,000 last year.

The data reveals stark differences between the military services, and shows the strains that long, repeated deployments to the front lines have had on soldiers and their leaders.

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Republican former U.S. Senate candidate John Brunner says he is contemplating a run for Missouri governor in 2016.

Brunner told The Associated Press on Friday that he has received encouragement to run but doesn't plan to make a decision until after the 2014 elections.

His comments came several days after former U.S. attorney and Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway announced her Republican candidacy for governor. Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich (shwyk) is another potential Republican candidate, but he first faces re-election this year.

Democratic Governor Jay Nixon is barred by term limits from seeking re-election. Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster already is building a gubernatorial campaign.

Brunner is a former St. Louis area businessman who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in the 2012 Republican primary.

Saturday, 15 February 2014 09:36
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