Vet sues after burial with gay partner is denied

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A U.S. Navy veteran filed a civil rights lawsuit Monday after the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery refused to allow her to be buried with the ashes of her late wife.

Seventy-four-year-old Madelynn Taylor filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Boise after she tried to make advance arrangements last year to have her ashes interred with Jean Mixner, whom she met on a blind date in 1995 and married in California in 2008 when gay marriage was briefly legal.

I can’t wait to see the cemetery officials’ reason for their refusal.

“We couldn’t allow these people to be buried together because…”

For the time being, I’m going with pure vindictiveness.

From the original article:

Taylor, for her part, was captivated by Mixner’s blue eyes. The two hit it off and it wasn’t long before Mixner moved from her Kansas City home to join Taylor in Nampa, Idaho. They soon married in a religious ceremony during a church retreat in Oregon.

And that is the problem. It looks like they went to a state that recognized homosexual marriage, to get married.

It says right on the VA web site

The Veteran and spouse lived in a state that did not recognize their marriage when they were married (having traveled to a recognition state to get married) and continue to live in a state that does not recognize their marriage at the time of the claim… , , , , , , , , ,Not married for purposes of VA benefits

So, no, cornbread_r2, they are not simply being vindictive.

Fair enough. Thanks for the information.

I sure hope she wins this lawsuit.
If they allow others to do this, they should allow her.

Even the various “religious” doctrines will not work for this one.
It’s not as though the lifeless body and the ashes are going to commit some sort of “sin” together.

Good luck to her.


Though I can’t think of a situation where a state would not recognize a marriage performed in another state except in cases of gay marriage, as long as the rule was in place before this woman applied and the rules are being consistently applied, I’m not so sure she could prevail in court.

If the rule only affects gay couples, then I can see how that might be grounds to get the rule changed in the future.

Let others? Who?

And it has nothing to do with religious doctrines. It has to do with US Code, Title 38, Section 103.

Special provisions relating to marriages

(a) Whenever, in the consideration of any claim filed by a person as the widow or widower of a veteran for gratuitous death benefits under laws administered by the Secretary, it is established by evidence satisfactory to the Secretary that such person, without knowledge of any legal impediment, entered into a marriage with such veteran which, but for a legal impediment, would have been valid, and thereafter cohabited with the veteran for one year or more immediately before the veteran’s death, or for any period of time if a child was born of the purported marriage or was born to them before such marriage, the purported marriage shall be deemed to be a valid marriage, but only if no claim has been filed by a legal widow or widower of such veteran who is found to be entitled to such benefits. No duplicate payments shall be made by virtue of this subsection.

(b) Where a surviving spouse has been legally married to a veteran more than once, the date of original marriage will be used in determining whether the statutory requirement as to date of marriage has been met.

© In determining whether or not a person is or was the spouse of a veteran, their marriage shall be proven as valid for the purposes of all laws administered by the Secretary according to the law of the place where the parties resided at the time of the marriage or the law of the place where the parties resided when the right to benefits accrued.

They lived in Idaho. They went to Oregon to marry. Then they continued to live in Idaho. That makes them “not married,” when looking at VA benefits.

Age would be another situation. Or being a close relative.

And the last time the code was amended was in 2003. Before the were “married.”

My question is, did they try to get other vet benefits? And if so, were they turned down?

From the original linked article:

Though federal veterans cemeteries allow the spouses of gay veterans to be interred with their loved ones, Taylor said she was surprised to find the Idaho cemetery — which is owned and operated by the state — does not.

If federal veterans cemeteries can make accommodations, apparently without regard for where they were married, then why can’t Idaho?

If a couple met the age and consanguinity requirements and married in say, California, and then moved to a state that had more restrictive rules, would the state they moved to not recognize their California marriage?

From how the code reads, she would not be able to be buried together at a National Cemetery, either.

It wouldn’t be the first time that someone that wanted something, ignored the rules then demanded that everyone do what they want.

This is from the Idaho National Cemetery site:

The eligiblity requirements for burial at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery follow the National Veterans Cemetery eligibility requirements and Idaho law. There is no requirement to be a resident of the state of Idaho.

Oh, and I have no idea what state recognizes which marriage. I just know the VA burial site really well. (I used it extensively when my parents died.)

If a couple legally married in a state with lower age and consanguinity requirements than Idaho and then moved to Idaho, would Idaho recognize their marriage? I’m guessing that it would and if it would, then it would appear that this rule only affects gay couples.

That’s easy. The state doesn’t recognize the “marriage.”

I prefer to defend the institution of marriage rather than confuse it in a PC world.

To me, it’s not a marriage issue. It’s wanting to be buried near someone you love.

I"m unclear when I read the article if she is saying that her wife died, and she wants her ashes put in the wife’s coffin? Or buried next to her? (what exactly is “interred”).

It seems this cemetery allows this for some people, but not others?

But…if it was a grieving mother who wanted to be buried with her child, for example–I think they should allow that, too. Assuming they allow other instances.

And if they don’t, they should.
Nice to know that your dying wish to “rest eternally” next to someone you love will be fulfilled. Makes dying a little easier.


AMEN, Memaw

No, but it sure helps the gay lobby to promote their incessant message that being gay is the norm.

This article doesn’t give much detail. She wants to be buried in a memorial wall next to the other woman. This lady currently has the other woman’s asses at home. So, it’s not like the other woman would have to be “dug up” or anything. It would be easy enough to make arrangments for burial in another veteran’s cemetary that will accomodate her request.

Personally, I’d just find someplace else. I’m more concerned with where my soul will be after death, than where my body will be. :shrug:

They don’t.

Why? Because National Cemeteries are not for everyone.

Here is the deal. No one is forced to be buried in a National Cemetery. If vets want to be buried near their home, or with their family, no problem. If a spouses are buried together, one is buried on top of the other. The government pays for one head stone, the spouse’s information in on the back of the headstone.

But none of that matters. Because in this instance, because they traveled to another state so they could “marry,” and they never lived in that state, they are not considered married by the VA. It is right there, in black and white.

The other states should be required to recognize their marriage… per the full faith and credit clause… it’s right there in black and white. There is no other category of marriage that the states refuse to recognize. For instance, there is no state that bans marriage between cousins that won’t recognize a marriage from another state even though it doesn’t comply with their law pertaining to cousins… The same goes for age requirements.

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