Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Saturday became the first member of the high court to officiate a same-sex marriage, just over two months after the court made a pair of landmark decisions clearing the way for states to legalize gay marriage nationwide.
Ginsburg, 80, performed the marriage ceremony at a gala, Washington D.C. high society wedding. Known to be an ardent supporter of the arts, Ginsburg is close friends with Michael Kaiser (at left in picture), president of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Kaiser, 59, married John G. Roberts Jr., 32, an economist at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, at a ceremony attended by approximately 200 guests at the Center saturday evening.
Roberts is not related to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.
In June, Ginsburg -- one of the court’s most liberal justices, who was nominated to the court by President Bill Clinton in 1993 -- joined the majority in two major decisions favoring the rights of same sex couples. In one, the court ruled that same sex couples married in states that recognized gay marriage could not be denied the same federal benefits granted to heterosexual married couples.
In the other ruling, the court refused to hear an appeal on the constitutionality of California’s “Proposition 8” same sex marriage ban. The courts refusal effectively upheld Prop. 8, allowing gay marriage in California to remain legal.
"Michael Kaiser is a friend and someone I much admire," Ginsburg said, explaining why she chose to do the honors at Saturday’s ceremony. "That is why I am officiating at his wedding."
Washington D.C. recognizes same sex marriages, as do 13 states.
In an interview with the Washington Post prior to conducting the service, Ginsburg said, “I think it will be one more statement that people who love each other and want to live together should be able to enjoy the blessings and the strife in the marriage relationship.”
The justice told the Post that she has another same sex marriage to perform later this month.
SOURCES: Washington Post, Fox News, Jewish Telegraph, New York Times