Madelynn Lee Taylor, a 74 year old Navy veteran, has won a federal battle to have her wife Jean Mixner’s ashes buried with her at Idaho State Veterans Cemetery when she passes.
This is a battle that has been going on since 2012, when Jean Mixner passed. Madelynn then discovered that she could not be buried with her wife due to the state’s opposition to same-sex marriage.
She then filed a federal court lawsuit against the cemetary, which subsided in their opposition after the court overturned Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage in October.
Unfortunately, the state of Idaho refused when Madelynn requested a final judgement on her case, and even filed a motion to dismiss the case.
However, Ron Bush, US federal court judge ruled on Thursday that Madelynn deserved certainty that her wishes would be respected when she passed away.
He ruled that: “Ms.Taylor is entitled to be eventually buried at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery, and Ms. Mixner’s remains are currently interred there, presumably is of present comfort to Ms. Taylor and to the respective families and loved ones of Ms. Taylor and Ms. Mixner. But such present comfort is not enough when considering the scope of relief actually sought within Ms. Taylor’s Amended Complaint. To be clear, through this action, Ms. Taylor demands that, upon her death, she and Ms. Mixner be interred together in perpetuity at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery.”
“[The state of Idaho]’s actions since Ms. Taylor first initiated this proceeding should be credited; however they fall short of providing certain assurance to Ms. Taylor that she and Ms. Mixner will be guaranteed a reunification in death by virtue of their joint interment at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery. Ms. Taylor is entitled to have the assurance that there is a court order in place requiring that what she has a right to have happen if she were to pass away today, will happen when she does pass away. That is the relief she seeks and, equally importantly, her right.”
So, Madelynn has finally won what Judge Bush correctly called her right. The right to know that, when she passes, she will be interred next to her wife. It shouldn’t have taken this long, but late is better than never.