Missouri Supreme Court rules against same-sex partner of fallen trooper

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The gay partner of a Missouri State Trooper won't get benefits, according to a Missouri Supreme Court ruling Tuesday.

Dennis Engelhard died in 2009 while responding to an accident. His partner, Kelly Glossip, has fought since then to get the same benefits as a heterosexual couple.

The court said several times the ruling is not because of sexual orientation but rather based solely on marital status.
Glossip challenged two state statutes. The first, regarding benefits provided to a surviving spouse of a patrolman killed in the line of duty. The second being the spouse refers to a marriage between a man and woman and because he is gay it violates his equal protection rights.

The court rejected both claims. However, the court made it clear Glossip could have challenged the state if he and Engelhard had married in another state.

The couple had been together 15 years at the time of Engelhard was killed responding to an accident on Christmas Day 2009. Glossip's son isn't considered Engelhard's stepson so he isn't entitled to benefits either.

At the end of the three-page ruling, the court stated the survivor benefits statute is open-ended and is not a special law so it doesn't fall under the state's constitutional ban.

41 Action News reached out to the ACLU who represented Glossip about the ruling but has yet to hear back.

You can read the court's ruling here: http://on.mo.gov/1aAbPke

You can also read the original story from the ACLU here: http://bit.ly/1ciDS95

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