At Last: Madelynn Taylor Secures Same-Sex Burial Rights at Idaho Veterans Cemetery


Madelynn Taylor - LAURIE PEARMAN
  • Laurie Pearman
  • Madelynn Taylor

In the wake of the historic events that saw Idaho's same-sex marriage ban ruled unconstitutional, veteran Madelynn Taylor has begun the process of securing a spot at the Idaho Veterans Cemetery for the ashes of her and her spouse, Jean Mixner.

Boise Weekly readers first met Taylor in April. Our story caught regional, national and even international attention—telling the story of how Taylor's request to be interred at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery had been rejected.

After being turned down verbally and in writing, the 74-year-old Taylor, whose wife Jean died two years ago (the two were legally married in California in 2008), decided in July to take her fight to court, filing a lawsuit against the the state of Idaho, arguing that her Constitutional rights had been violated.

But Kevin Wallior of the Idaho Veterans Affairs Commission confirmed to Boise Weekly Friday that Taylor was finally filling out the requisite paperwork to have Mixner's ashes interred with her own at the time of Taylor's passing.

Taylor called Boise Weekly Friday. She was elated: "Guess what? We won," she said. 

And indeed Wallior confirmed the historic news.

"She's in process," he told BW.

Previous attempts to apply had been rejected because Idaho did not, until Oct. 14, recognize Taylor and Mixner's same-sex union. 

"Now, since the court system struck down that provision as being unconstitutional, the state now recognizes same-sex marriage, [whether a couple is same- or different-sex] becomes a moot point. We're obligated by law to provide the same services that we would any other veteran," Wallior said.