Dennis Engelhard was a trooper in the highway patrol who was killed in an accident, when a car lost control in the snow and hit him. That’s tragedy enough, but what makes it worse is that the person he loved faces this sudden loss without any acknowledgment or support, not even a mention in the obituary. You can guess why: it’s because Trooper Engelhard was gay.
If Engelhard had been married, his spouse would be entitled to lifetime survivor’s benefits from the state pension system — more than $28,000 a year.
But neither the state Highway Patrol pension system nor Missouri law recognizes domestic partners.
A fraternal organization that provides benefits to the families of troopers killed in the line of duty is also unsure if it will help Engelhard’s partner.
Engelhard worked in Missouri, which has a constitutional amendment specifying that marriage is only between a man and a woman. I wonder how many other people are living lives of service and putting themselves at risk for people in a state that regards them as inferior and undeserving?