Lesley A. Hall


In Glossip v. Missouri Department of Transportation and Highway Patrol Employees’ Retirement System, the Supreme Court of Missouri perpetuated these fears. The court refused to identify sexual orientation as a classification worthy of heightened or “intermediate” equal protection scrutiny, signaling to Missourians that homosexuality is still something to discount, fear, and hide. The holding also erroneously deprived Kelly Glossip of Corporal Engelhard’s survivor benefits after Engelhard, his partner of many years, was killed in the line of duty. This Note discusses the resolution of this case and analyzes why the court’s holding demonstrates a regressive step for gays and lesbians in Missouri and elsewhere. Part II analyzes the facts and holding of Glossip. Part III discusses the Missouri Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause, sexual orientation and federal jurisprudence, and Missouri’s statutory and constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. Part IV examines the Supreme Court of Missouri’s rationale in Glossip, including Judge Teitelman’s dissent. Part V analyzes why the majority erred in determining that the Missouri survivor benefits statute discriminated against non-married couples, when the discriminatory characteristic was clearly sexual orientation. This Note ends by explaining that sexual orientation should receive heightened or “intermediate” scrutiny, under which the Missouri survivor benefits statute would have been held to have violated Glossip’s rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the Missouri Constitution.

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