Colorado couple Lisa Dumaw and Therese Pieper have been in a loving relationship for fifteen years. For the past five years Lisa has been battling cancer. Lisa's cancer remission did not last long and she is now in the final weeks or even days of her life. The couple has traveled to New York to marry and live out Lisa's time together as a legally recognized married couple. Because Colorado does not have marriage equality, the couple has no choice but to marry in a state with marriage equality. This must be done in order to guarantee that Therese will be entitled to the Social Security benefits for which she has worked long and hard over many years. Lisa's cousin, Kristen Eberhard, who has been like a sister to her, will host the loving couple's wedding. Kristen wrote about hosting the wedding for the Huffington Post, part of which you can see below.
So, while her body is failing her, all 90 lbs. of her is willing to travel across the country to New York, a state where such unions are acknowledged. It is her last wish. The trip will be arduous at best. She will be shuffled between terminals in a wheelchair, yet I will be blessed with the opportunity to orchestrate a magical wedding night in my living room.
But why here? Because sometimes desire trumps practicality. Lisa and Therese love Woodstock, and Woodstock is in a state that affirms their choice, and I choose to live in a place where I can celebrate this and throw an impromptu wedding as a gift to a cousin who has been like a sister to me for my entire life.
Lisa and Therese's story is heartbreaking enough without their circumstances being compounded by a law that prevents them from living their final time together in peace. It is neither fair or just. They are entitled to the same respect, compassion and protection under the law as any other loving couple.
Huffington Post has more about Lisa and Therese's love.