SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico woman who won an emergency court order allowing her to marry her longtime partner this summer in one of a cascade of same-sex weddings in the state has died.
Jennifer Martin Neuman-Roper, who lived in the community of Pojoaque near Santa Fe, had been suffering from terminal brain cancer and died on Friday at the age of 44, according to an obituary on DeVargas Funeral Home and Crematory's website.
The ACLU of New Mexico issued a statement saying her participation in the group's freedom to marry case "helped open the door for thousands of same-sex couples to celebrate their love and commitment in marriage here in our state."
Jennifer and Angelique Neuman-Roper had an impromptu service in the lobby of the Christus St. Vincent Cancer Center in August after a judge required the Santa Fe and Bernalillo county clerks to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. All the counties representing the state's major population centers are now issuing same-sex marriage licenses and several smaller counties have also followed suit.
Santa Fe County Clerk Geraldine Salazar kept her office open into the evening the day the judge issued the order to give more people the opportunity to get married before the weekend.
She also sent a staffer to the hospital where Jennifer Roper was being treated so she could marry Angelique Neuman.
The New Mexico Supreme Court is considering an appeal of the state judge's ruling that paved the way for Newman-Roper's marriage. The couple were among six named plaintiffs in the case. County clerks statewide asked the justices to clarify state law because eight of the 33 clerks are issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Neuman-Roper had a degree in materials engineering and worked as a technician at the Los Alamos National Laboratories and later at a local Boys and Girls Club, according to her obituary. She is survived by her mother, wife Angelique Neuman-Roper, and three sons, Jayms, David, and Damion.
A memorial service is set for Nov. 18 at Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church in Espanola.
Copyright © 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.