Missouri Supreme Court Hears Case Involving Death Benefits for Same-Sex Partners

The surviving partner of a deceased police officer is seeking death benefits, which have been denied to him due to the definition of “spouse” in the Missouri law governing payment of survivor benefits. His attorney argued that the two men had a longstanding relationship, which should be honored by the grant of benefits to the survivor.

The case bears similarity to a case presently pending in the U.S. Supreme Court. In that case, the surviving female partner of a federal employee seeks Social Security Death Benefits denied to her due to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage for purposes of federal law as the union of one man and one woman. Legal counsel for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops filed a friend of the court brief in support of DOMA, defending the traditional definition of marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument on the case in March and is expected to rule in June.

Traditional marriage has been under attack in a number of states. The Missouri Constutition defines marriage as being between one man and one woman The MCC played a leading role in the passage of this Amendment. If the U.S. Supreme Court rules to recognize same-sex marriages, Missouri’s Marriage Amendment will be null and void.

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