Missouri State Highway Patrolman Capt. Dennis Engelhard and his partner Kelly Glossip were together in a loving relationship for fifteen years, until Dennis Engelhard's untimely death on Christmas Day in 2005 while on duty. The couple also have a seventeen year old son. The case was heard by the Missouri Supreme Court who ruled, in a 5-2 decision, that Kelly Glossip was not entitled to survivor's benefits. The decision to deny Mr. Glossip benefits was not based on the couple's sexuality, it was based on the fact the couple was not married, according to the decision. Missouri is a state without marriage equality.
In a statement PROMO of St. Louis, a statewide LGBT advocacy, emphasized disappointment in the ruling.
“The Missouri Supreme Court decided on narrow grounds to deny survivor benefits because Kelly Glossip and Cpl. Dennis Englehard were not married in a jurisdiction where marriage is legally recognized,” says the statement. “The Supreme Court ruling was a disappointment for Kelly Glossip and their son. The ruling denies a true recognition for the commitment of the couple and their family. They exchanged rings on Christmas Day, several years before the passing of Engelhard.”
A.J. Bockelman, executive director of PROMO, says the opinion offered by the court is shameful.
"With the wave of lawsuits and marriage cases going forward around the country, this statement is an embarrassment to justice, equality, and will be go down in history as a blemish,” says Bockelman. “Make no mistake, equality and justice will prevail, and the fight will continue."
Read more of the tragic story OzarksFirst.com.