Ruth Bader Ginsburg to be first Supreme Court judge to officiate at gay wedding in US

 

A Supreme Court Justice will officiate a same-sex wedding this weekend, making her the first member of America's highest court to do so.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg will officiate today at the marriage of Michael Kaiser, Kennedy Center President and John Roberts, a government economist.

The private ceremony will take place at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a national memorial to former US President John F. Kennedy. 80-year-old Ginsburg is a frequent guest at the centre.

Ms Ginsburg said she would be officiating at the wedding because "Michael Kaiser is a friend and someone I much admire," in a written statement yesterday.

Speaking to the Washington Post, Ms 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."

Kaiser explained he had asked Ms Ginsburg to officiate because she is a longtime friend of the couple.

"It's very meaningful mostly to have a friend officiate, and then for someone of her stature, it's a very big honour," Kaiser said. "I think that everything that's going on that makes same-sex marriage possible and visible helps to encourage others and to make the issue seem less of an issue, to make it just more part of life.

Ms Ginsburg was one of four Supreme Court judges to overturn the federal law determining marriage as a union between a man and a woman in June.

She told the Post: “It won’t be long before there will be another [marriage]” performed by a justice.

While hearing arguments in the case in March, Ginsburg fought for treating marriages equally. The rights associated with marriage are pervasive, she said, and the law had created two classes of marriage.

Same-sex marriage is legal in the District of Columbia and 13 US states, but remains illegal in 35 other states. Two states have no legislation on the issue. Same-sex weddings have been legal in Columbia since 2010.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

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