Monday, December 20, 2010

Missouri dedicates highway to gay trooper killed on duty, still refuses to give benefits to his partner

Posted By on Mon, Dec 20, 2010 at 11:00 AM

click to enlarge A stretch of road will be dedicated to Cpl Dennis Engelhard today.
  • A stretch of road will be dedicated to Cpl Dennis Engelhard today.

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

mortgage

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

from marriage."


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.

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