Gay veteran denied burial with partner in Idaho cemetery [View all]
BOISE — A 74-year-old Navy veteran says she wants her partner buried with her in the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery. Officials say the couple can't be buried together because same-sex marriages aren't recognized in Idaho.
Madelynn Taylor served six years in the Navy from 1958 to 1964. She says her whole family was in the military. "It's what we did. When we were 18, you picked a service and joined."
She met her late wife Jean Mixner years ago. They got married at a church retreat in Oregon in 1995, and formally in a California courthouse around six years ago. Mixner passed away in 2012, and last year, Taylor went to the Veterans Cemetery to apply to be buried there with her wife when she passes away. She took the required documents: Discharge documents and a marriage certificate.
"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. So, we gotta change the state laws."