Idaho Veteran's Cemetery Will Bury Lesbian Couple

Oct 17, 2014

Idaho Veteran's Cemetery
Credit Idaho Air National Guard / Flickr

An Idaho Navy veteran, who wanted to be buried with her late wife, will get her wish.

The Spokesman-Review’s Eye on Boise blog reports the head of the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery says there’s no longer a reason to keep the two apart. Madelynn Taylor has her wife Jean Mixner's ashes. She wanted to set up arrangements to have her ashes interred with Mixner's at the cemetery in Boise.

The pair got married legally in California in 2008. But because gay marriage was illegal in Idaho, the cemetery refused her request, saying the law didn't recognize their union. Taylor then sued the state.

But that changed this week when gay couples got the right to marry in Idaho. Cemetery Director James Earp told the Spokesman-Review now that gay marriage is recognized in Idaho, when Taylor dies, she can be interred with the ashes of her late wife. He said before the court's ruling, Taylor wasn't eligible to buried next to her wife.

“So therefore now with the change in decision based off the courts and the state, that is no longer the case. So we will continue on now with scheduling an interment process, once she is available to do so.” – James Earp, Spokesman Review

Taylor’s attorney is Deborah Ferguson, the same woman who represented four lesbian couples who successfully sued Idaho over it's gay-marriage ban. She says the Navy veteran will make arrangements with the cemetery next week. “I’m happy to see them comply and recognize Madelyn’s marriage to Jean and her request for interment,” Ferguson told the Spokesman-Review. “It’s wonderful.”

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