Kelly Glossip: Same-Sex Partner of Missouri Trooper Killed in Line of Duty Sues for Benefits


Glossip (left) and Engelhardt lived together and raised Glossip's son from a previous relationship. - VIA ACLU
  • Via ACLU
  • Glossip (left) and Engelhardt lived together and raised Glossip's son from a previous relationship.
Kelly Glossip lost his partner of fifteen years, Dennie Engelhard, last Christmas morning.

Engelhardt, a trooper with the Missouri Highway Patrol, was assisting a stranded motorist on Interstate 44 near Eureka last December 25 when he was struck and killed by an SUV that lost control in the ice and snow.

Back in January, Glossip told Daily RFT that he'd yet to be contacted by Backstoppers or Masters, a benevolent fund for the survivors of state troopers killed in the line of duty.

And to this day, he's yet to receive survivor benefits from the state.

Engelhardt was open about his sexual orientation with colleagues in the highway patrol and even exchanged rings with Glossip to symbolize their commitment to each other. But because Missouri law does not recognize same-sex relationships, Glossip has been denied survivor's benefits. If the two had been husband and wife in the traditional sense, Glossip would've been entitled to a state pension of half Engelhardt's salary.

Today Glossip -- with assistance from the ACLU -- sued the state for the compensation he believes he's owed.

"Dennis and Kelly were a family in every sense of the word," said ACLU attorney John Knight in a statement today. "They owned a home together, shared cars and bank accounts, and Dennis even helped Kelly care for his child from a former marriage. They vowed to take care of each other in good times and in bad. As a matter of basic fairness, Kelly should be entitled to the same security as other bereaved partners of troopers killed in the line of duty."

Below is a video in which Glossip remembers his partner and explains why he's suing for the rights of all gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered people.


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