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St. Louis official 'horrified' by gay discrimination defense

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — A top St. Louis County official is blasting legal staff for arguing that gay discrimination in Missouri is legal in a case in which nearly $20 million was awarded to a police sergeant.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said Wednesday in a statement that he was "horrified and surprised that argument was used" in Sgt. Keith Wildhaber's case. Wildhaber says he was told to "tone down his gayness" and passed up for promotion 23 times.

County Counselor Beth Orwick says she instructed two lawyers working on the case not to make the argument. She says she was mortified and surprised when they wrote in a motion that the Missouri Human Rights Act "explicitly omits any reference to sexual orientation as a protected class."

Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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