The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, the national ACLU, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) have filed an emergency request on behalf of Jen Roper and Angelique Neuman with the Second Judicial District Court so that they can marry.
The request asks that the couple be allowed to legally marry immediately due to Roper’s life-threatening brain cancer. Roper’s health has been deteriorating, and they want to get married so that their three children will have legal protections should she pass before marriage is definitively legal in New Mexico.
Lynn Perls, a lawyer working on the suit, stated that “After 21 years in an intimate and committed relationship, including raising three sons together. Jen Roper and Angelique Newman are facing Jen’s terminal diagnosis together. They both need the safety net provided by marriage under the laws of the state of New Mexico and our country, and they cannot afford to wait. They deserve the chance to marry now, before it is too late.”
EQNM noted that “Jen’s sudden and severe illness prevents the couple from traveling out of state to marry in a place that does not discriminate against same-sex couples. Emergency relief from the court would allow the County of Santa Fe to issue Jen and Angelique a marriage license, which in turn makes accessible the legal protections and benefits necessary to protect themselves and their family in this time of crisis.”
EQNM Executive Director, Amber Royster stated “Same-sex couples face these painful and devastating circumstances every day. Every second that passes without legal recognition of the love and commitment between same-sex couples is added fear and uncertainty about whether we can provide for and protect our families. EQNM applauds the courage of Jen and Angelique to help bring this reality to the forefront of the debate here in New Mexico.”