70-Year-Old Lesbian Navy Vet Denied Right to Burial with Wife at Idaho Cemetery
Lesbian Navy Vet Madelynn Taylor Denied Right to Burial with Wife at Idaho Veteran Cemetery
Taylor said, "I've been discriminated against for 70 years."
U.S. Navy veterant Madelynn Taylor, 74, served six years and earned the right for her and her spouse of 17 years, Jean Mixner, to be buried in Idaho’s Veteran Cemetery. But the Division of Veterans Services is denying access for her now-deceased wife’s ashes to be laid to rest in their plot,CBS News reported.
"It's not taking up any more space to have both of us in there, and I don't see where the ashes of a couple of old lesbians is going to hurt anybody," Taylor told KBOI, Idaho’s CBS affiliate.
Federal law allows same-sex couples to be buried in all US National cemeteries, but because the Veterans Cemetery in Boise is a state run cemetery, the powers that be have to follow the Idaho Constitution, which currently does not recognize same-sex unions.
"I'm not surprised," she said. "I've been discriminated against for 70 years, and they might as well discriminate against me in death as well as life."
But, Taylor refuses to be buried anywhere but her home town, and she plans to keep up her fight for equal rights for the rest of her life, and even for years beyond if necessary.
“I’ll have the paperwork and both of our ashes in someone’s care,” she said. “So they can put it in when we get laws change.”