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Missouri Supreme Court To Review Same-Sex Partner Benefits Case After DOMA Ruling

MO State SealThis past February, the Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments challenging a state law banning same-sex marriage. The case was brought before the court after Kelly Glossip, partner to deceased Missouri State Highway Patrol Cpl. Dennis Engelhard, was denied the survivor benefits granted to opposite-sex couples under Missouri Law. 

While is is still not clear if the court will make a ruling on the case, it has asked for attorneys on both sides to file written arguments in light of the Supreme Court's recent decision to strike down Section 3 of DOMA, which dealt with benefits to married couples (including death and inheritance benefits) among other issues. Attorneys for Glossip have already submitted their arguments. They contend that the state's denial of benefits violates the state's equal protection clause, much in the same way that DOMA did so with the U.S. Constitution. State attorneys have until July 29th to submit theirs. 

According to Beaumont Enterprise, Glossip's case was initially dismissed from Cole County Circuit Court before being appealed to the state's supreme court. While the U.S. Supreme Court's decision dealt entirely with separate, federal laws...

"Glossip's attorneys contend in their recent court filing that there is a similar discriminatory principle in Missouri's law that denies benefits to same-sex couples who are legally unable to marry in Missouri."

MO Supreme CourtMissouri's constitution does have a same-sex marriage ban on the books, in addition to an equal protection clause. This case is also not the first to use the SCOTUS' recent ruling to challenge anti-gay legislation at the state level. Previously, a federal district court in Michigan cited Windsor v. United States when blocking a state law that would bar employment benefits to same-sex couples. The U.S. Supreme Court also recently declined to hear a similar case over the denial of same-sex partner benefits in Arizona. 

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  1. The bears on the emblem look pretty gay.

    Posted by: Phil | Jul 23, 2013 10:49:47 PM

  2. I have heard of this couple before, I believe. If I recall correctly, it was reported years ago that even though Mr. Englehard had specifically listed Glossip as his sole beneficiary, the state challenged the payout in court and succeeded in taking away Glossip's survivor benefits leaving him in hardship. To rub salt in the wound, an organization that helps provide aid to families of fallen officers used a 'sanitized' version of Englehard's story and his photo portrait in their advertising campaigns to ask for donations, all the while purposefully not mentioning that he was gay and they had sabotaged his final requests.

    Some background:

    After so many years of fighting for what should be rightfully due, I hope that Mr. Glossip sees some fairness and decency; he's admirably persistent indeed.

    Posted by: DC | Jul 24, 2013 1:06:27 AM

  3. I just had to find the first link and PRAISE Towleroad for not having a peep about a certain *ucking baby being born.
    I'm sorry for even bringing it up, but this news-site is the first I've seen, on TV or cyberspace, that I didn't feel bombarded. Okay, that said.

    I am from Missouri and I certainly hope the outcome is positive, but I don't hold out high hopes. People are better in MO then they used to be, but far from great.

    Posted by: John | Jul 24, 2013 2:54:36 AM

  4. Also from MO. I could see this ending well. Missourians tend to be live and let live. There are still plenty of wackos out here, but it seems like folks are generally starting to come around.

    Posted by: Jason R. | Jul 24, 2013 11:08:53 AM

  5. Time to read up on Missouri's judges. It's about them and guts as much as the law.

    Posted by: Bingo | Jul 24, 2013 11:45:05 AM

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