Posted at: 08/23/2013 10:16 PM
By: Danielle Todesco, KOB Eyewitness News 4
It was a busy Friday night for the Santa Fe County Clerk's office. The office stayed open late, issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
One of those couples may be the reason things are moving so quickly in New Mexico. They filed a lawsuit pushing to get a marriage license, because one of them is very ill.
"For me, it was love at first sight," Angelique Neuman said. Her love story with Jen Roper could re-define marriage in New Mexico.
The two met in college 22 years ago and have been together ever since. They bought a house and adopted 3 children but haven't been able to marry. They tried back in 2004 when Sandoval County's Clerk started issuing licenses to same-sex couples.
"We were third in line when they stopped it," Neuman said.
But Friday, no one stopped it. In fact, people stepped in to make it happen. A judge showed up, they were handed bouquets of roses, and in the middle of the Saint Vincent Cancer Center in Santa Fe, they exchanged their vows.
Roper has brain cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. She believes that her illness has helped move the issue of same-sex marriage forward in the state. But she hopes that momentum doesn't stop.
"Because I'm sick right now, there seems to be some reason to give it some extra support," Roper said. "The only thing I can think of that is let it go, just let it go and support whoever wants it."
There is a hearing in District Court on Monday that could decide if the state recognizes all the marriage licenses issued this week.