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Eye On Boise

Idaho Veterans Cemetery says there’s no longer any reason to deny burial to vet’s same-sex spouse

The director of the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery says there’s no longer any reason to deny a request from an Idaho veteran to be buried there with the remains of her same-sex spouse. Maddelyn Lee Taylor, a Navy veteran, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit after her request to be interred at the cemetery along with the ashes of late wife Jean Mixner was denied. “Based on the current law at the time, the spouse was not eligible,” cemetery Director James Earp said today. “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.”

Deborah Ferguson, Taylor’s attorney, said she is working with the Idaho Attorney General’s office to wrap up the federal lawsuit, and expects that to happen early next week. “We’ll be talking about how to draw that to a close,” she said. Taylor is planning to go out to the cemetery to make arrangements next week, she said. She and Mixner were legally married in California in 2008.

“I’m happy to see them comply and recognize Maddelyn’s marriage to Jean and her request for interment,” Ferguson said. “It’s wonderful.” 

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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