A terminally ill New Mexico lesbian is hoping a judge will allow her to marry her longtime partner even though her state does not currently permit same-sex couples to wed.
As NBC is reporting, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico filed an emergency request with the state's Second Judicial District Court to allow Jen Roper and Angelique Neuman, who have been together for 21 years, to legally tie the knot in Santa Fe County. Roper, who is suffering from terminal brain cancer, is not expected to live long, according to the report.
"Her ability to walk is getting worse, her ability to think is getting worse," Roper said of Neuman, who was diagnosed in December 2012, in an interview with KOAT. "Her ability to speak is getting worse ... I can't even imagine what it will be like without her."
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.
Dona Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins issued a statement, in which he had concluded that the “state’s marriage statutes are gender neutral and do not expressly prohibit Dona Ana County from issuing marriage licenses to same-gender couples," according to the Associated Press.
The couple's case is similar to that of 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 chartered, medically-equipped private plane from their home state of Ohio.
An Ohio-based federal judge later ordered state officials to recognize Arthur and Obergefell's marriage on the former's death certificate, according to Buzzfeed's Chris Geidner.