The state of Missouri sucks at consolation prizes. Today, a stretch of Interstate 44 in Franklin County will be dedicated to Missouri Highway Patrol trooper Dennis Engelhard, the highway patrolman who was killed on the same stretch of road on Christmas Day 2009.
As our cousins at the Riverfront Times point out, the state of Missouri is still denying Engelhard's partner of 15 years, Kelly Glossip, survivor
benefits because same-sex relationships don't count in the eyes of the state.
The Show-Me State does this even though everything about Engelhard and
Glossip's relationship was just like any other couple. They raised
Glossip's son from a previous relationship together. They owned a home together. They shared bank accounts.
Earlier this month, the American Civil Liberties Union announced
that it's helping Glossip sue the state.
"I'm just seeking
the same financial protections the state provides to
heterosexual couples," Glossip said in a statement at the time. " It is hard enough
coping with the grief of losing Dennis. It is even more painful to have
the state treat Dennis and me as though we were total strangers."
Following Engelhard's death, Glossip has struggled to pay the
on the home he and Engelhard owned.
"We depended on each other emotionally and financially in our life
together like any other committed couple," Glossip said. "We exchanged
rings and would have married in Missouri if the state didn't exclude us
As our cousins at the RFT wonder: "Missouri
considers Engelhard enough of a hero to name a road after him while
continuing to deny his loved ones their rightful benefits because we do
not approve of his sexuality?"
Yep, that's exactly what's going on.