September 2, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) - Sixteen Democratic senators are calling on the Department of Veterans Affairs to continue granting waivers so same-sex spouses of veterans can be buried in national cemeteries.
The lawmakers said in a letter to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki they wanted to commend him for a recent decision granting a waiver to former Lt. Col Linda Campbell so that her deceased spouse, Nancy Lynchild, could be laid to rest in Willamette National Cemetery near Portland, Ore.
The waiver was the first of its kind. The VA made clear the decision was not based on the couple's marital status, but on evidence of a committed relationship.
Lawmakers said offering burial rights in national cemeteries to same-sex spouses is a matter of fairness to veterans, and they asked Shinseki to expedite the waiver process.