Navy veteran sues Idaho for right to be buried with lesbian spouse's ashes

By Kyle Johnson,

A Navy veteran has filed a lawsuit against Idaho after her request to be buried with her lesbian spouse's ashes in a military cemetery were denied.

Madelynn Taylor, 74, is suing the state, which currently bans gay marriage, for violating the U.S. Constitution's equal protection and due process clause, The Associated Press reports, for refusing her request and for not recognizing her marriage.

Taylor married Jean Mixner in 2008 when California temporarily allowed same-sex marriage. She thought her wish was simple enough since other federal veterans cemeteries allow for same-sex spouses to be interred together.

This is "among the most extreme examples of the harm caused by state laws that deny respect to the marriages of same-sex couples," National Center for Lesbian Rights senior attorney Craig Stoll said. "Denying these important protections to committed couples is not simply unjust, it is needlessly cruel."

Idaho Division of Veterans Services chief David Brasuell wouldn't comment beyond noting that the state does not recognize gay marriage, even a valid one done elsewhere, according to Reuters.

Taylor is disappointed she's having to sue just to get a simple request accepted. "What's the harm of two old lesbians being buried in the veterans cemetery?" she asked. "I'm sure we won't be recruiting anybody there."

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