'In sickness and in health': Colorado couple shares their cross-country wedding story

"New York is so great because you can marry who you love," concluded five-year-old Maggie Bing-Edwards, flower girl to the wedding of Therese Pieper and her terminally ill partner and now lawfully-wedded wife Lisa Dumaw.

GLAAD National News Intern Nicholas Coppola wrote last week about Lisa's and Therese's risky wedding plans to travel from Colorado, where same-sex couples are prohibited from marrying, to New York-- in spite of Dumaw's dire medical condition.  After fifteen years in a loving and committed relationship, the two decided to wed so that Therese would have access to the same Social Security benefits granted to married straight couples.  Unable to marry in Colorado, Lisa, whose battle with cancer has left her with little time left, made a final wish: to marry the love of her life in Woodstock, New York.  

Lisa's cousin Kristen Eberhard initially shared this story via Huffington Post, and hosted the couple's wedding in her own living room in Woodstock. The couple went to the emergency room after their wedding. They are now safely home in Colorado.

Following up on the newlyweds earlier today, Eberhard remarked on her admiration for Lisa, who remains ill but alive, and now legally recognized for her love for Therese: "She had risked her life to come here, maintaining that it was a journey worth taking. She is my hero. "

In a few powerful words, Therese offered her own reflection on the wedding.  "Love is love. There is no gender to it."

In addition to sharing their story on Huffington Post, the couple has been kind and brave enough to share with GLAAD some high-quality photos from their intimate wedding. Photos can be used with photo credit to, Eberhard's husband, Bill Miles

 

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GLAAD Southern Stories will elevate the experiences of LGBT people in six of the nation's southern states. The initiative amplifies stories of LGBT people thriving in the South, ongoing discrimination, as well as the everyday indignities endured by LGBT people who simply wish to live the lives they love, including stories of family, stories of faith, stories of sports, and stories of patriotism