Monday, February 8, 2010

Why it matters: spouse denied benefits

From St Louis:
The recent death of a Missouri Highway Patrol trooper is putting the rights of same sex couples in Missouri under a microscope. The long-time partner of Corporal Dennis Engelhard believes he should receive death benefits.

43 year old Kelly Glossip says he and Engelhard were together for nearly 15 years. Yet, he says he's being ignored when it comes to the agencies who normally reach out to the families of fallen law enforcement officers.

"He was my true love and he always referred to me as his one and only true love and the man of his dreams," Glossip said. "We were hopelessly in love with each other."

Engelhard was killed on Christmas day while waiting with the driver of a disabled car for a tow truck. He got out of his vehicle and was hit by a passing SUV. It happened on Interstate 44 in Eureka.....

Glossip believes that has at least something to do with Missouri's law forbidding same sex marriages. That's a law he thinks needs to be wiped out.

"I should have the same rights as any other spouse, as heterosexuals would have. And I just don't understand why people are so bigoted."
And for their part, the Missouri Highway Patrol tells us some of Engelhard's benefits will be paid out according to beneficiaries he listed. But a spokesperson says Glossip is not eligible for any benefits through Engelhard's retirement pension because the two aren't legally married in Missouri.
Yup, because the bigots think that Mr Glossip should lose everything, that the love and family he built up for years counts for nothing. Because that's their idea of family values.

That's why it matters.

Update: The Episcopal Cathedral of St Louis is raising funds for Mr Glossip.

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