Jen Roper, Terminally Ill New Mexico Woman, Weds Same-Sex Partner In Hospital Ceremony

A terminally ill New Mexico woman got a spot of good news Aug. 23, when she and her longtime same-sex partner were granted a marriage license.

San Diego Gay & Lesbian News reports that 44-year-old Jen Roper, who is suffering from a life-threatening form of brain cancer, wed Angelique Neuman in a brief ceremony at the Christus St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center, where she is hospitalized.

"I cried a lot," Roper told local news station KOAT. "But I was so privileged at being able to be officially and completely recognized as her wife ... I feel extremely privileged over the support that we're getting."

NBC reported last week that the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico had filed an emergency request with the state's Second Judicial District Court in hopes that the couple, who have been together for 21 years, would be given permission to wed. Roper is not expected to live much longer, according to that earlier report.

The battle for same-sex marriage has hit fever pitch in the state of New Mexico in recent weeks. On Aug. 21, a New Mexico county clerk announced that his office would begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses even though the debate over marriage equality is hitting state courts.

The Santa Fe county clerk followed suit Aug. 23, the very day Roper and Neuman tied the knot, the Associated Press reported.

The couple's case is similar to that of Ohio-based gay couple John Arthur and Jim Obergefell. Arthur, who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), tied the knot with Obergefell on a Baltimore airport tarmac after receiving donations from friends, family and other connections to cover the cost of a $12,700 flight in a chartered, medically-equipped private plane from their home state of Ohio.



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