BOISE, Idaho — A 74-year-old Navy veteran says she wants her wife buried with her in the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery, but officials have denied her request because Idaho doesn’t recognize her same-sex marriage.
Madelynn Taylor says she went to the Veterans Cemetery to apply to be buried there with her wife when she passes away, taking the required discharge documents and a marriage certificate with her, but was surprised when she was told that couldn’t happen, reports KTVB-TV.
“I thought they’d say okay because in any federal cemetery it is okay, in any national cemetery,” Taylor said. “I could take the same documents and get buried in Arlington if I needed to, with no problems. But here they said it’s a state veterans cemetery, not a national cemetery. So we have to go by the state laws.”
Taylor and her late wife Jean Mixner married at a church retreat in Oregon in 1995, and formally in a California courthouse six years ago.
Taylor, who served six years in the Navy from 1958 to 1964, says that while she could be buried together in another veterans cemetery, she says as a longtime Idaho resident with brothers and sisters here, she doesn’t want to settle. She wants to be in Idaho’s Veterans Cemetery, with her wife by her side.
“I just feel that it’s the right place for me,” she says. “I want Jean with me.”
Taylor says that if she dies without being accepted into the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery along with Mixner, someone will keep the couple’s ashes together until they are allowed to be buried in that cemetery.
“Eventually I’m going to be there. It’ll happen. They might as well give up and let us go now,” she said.