ALBUQUERQUE, NMYesterday, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico applauded the Santa Fe District Court's decision to allow loving, committed same-sex couples marry in Santa Fe County. Among those who were married were ACLU-NM marriage plaintiffs Jen Roper and Angelique Neuman. The couple has been together for 21 years, and Roper is currently suffering from a life-threatening form of brain cancer. The following statement can be attributed to ACLU-NM executive director Peter Simonson:
"We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Jen and Angelique and all the other couples who celebrated their love and commitment today in marriage. Today's news from Santa Fe, coming on the heels of the Doña Ana County Clerk's decision to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, illustrates the urgency New Mexicans feel about this issue. We hope that state courts will recognize this urgency and expedite their decision on marriage so that couples in every county in New Mexico can enjoy the freedom to marry."
Roper and Neuman married soon after the county clerk began issuing licenses in an impromptu ceremony in the Christus St. Vincent cancer center where Roper was undergoing treatment. A local justice of the peace officiated and a deputy county clerk issued the marriage license.
"We are so very happy to be officially married after 21 years together," said Roper. "It was a dream come true for us and for all the other couples who married today. Now we just ask that the courts move quickly to ensure that our marriages are fully recognized and respected by the state."
"It was wonderful and overwhelming," said Neuman. "The part of our vows where we pledged to care for each other in sickness and in health really hit home for me. It means so much to me to know Jen is my wife, not only in my heart, but in the eyes of our friends, family, and community as well."
The ACLU of New Mexico, along with the national ACLU and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, will continue to litigate their marriage case in state district court to ensure that all loving, committed same-sex couples can marry in New Mexico and those marriages will be fully recognized and respected by the state.