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      Nixon calls for protections for gay workers

      Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is asking the state's Republican-led Legislature to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation.

      Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is asking the state's Republican-led Legislature to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation. But the measure's chances of passing are unclear.

      Some Republicans expressed caution Wednesday and criticized Nixon for championing the proposal while ignoring other policy initiatives.

      Current state law prohibits discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex and disability.

      Many Democrats applauded Nixon for including the proposal among his priorities outlined in the State of the State address Tuesday night.

      Legislation to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation passed the Senate on the last day of session last year, but never received a House vote.

      At least one House member -- Anne Zerr, of St. Charles -- said she was glad Nixon pushed for the measure in his speech.