Jen Roper, 44, who is suffering from a life-threatening form of brain cancer, married Angelique Neuman in a brief ceremony in the lobby of Christus St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center, where she is hospitalized. “I feel very privileged and hope that [marriage] extends to everyone in the state,” Roper said. “We want other people in the state to be able to make the same choice.” Earlier this week, the Pojoaque, N.M. couple had asked a New Mexico court to legally marry immediately in a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of New Mexico, the national ACLU, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Sutin Law Firm, and Albuquerque attorneys Maureen Sanders, Kate Girard, and Lynn Perls.
The employees of the cancer center pitched in to make it happen:
Friday’s wedding was hastily planned, and the couple were unable to plan it. But cancer center employees found a way to make it special. Carolyn Phillips, an oncology nurse practitioner, was the maid of honor. She has been one of Roper’s caregivers at the hospital. The best man was Karl Krenek, who works with Neuman at Los Alamos. Probate Judge Mark Basham presided over the brief ceremony. Afterward, the couple returned to Roper’s room, where she was again hooked up to an IV pumping out chemotherapy medicine. The staff produced a wedding cake and a bottle of sparkling apple-cranberry juice to celebrate the wedding.
It’s beyond beautiful that this loving couple was able to get married – it’s right, and it’s just. We send them our love and support.