Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ginsburg to Be First High Court Justice Performing Same-Sex Marriage

By Trudy Ring

Originally published on Advocate.com August 30 2013 6:18 PM ET

This weekend Ruth Bader Ginsburg will become the first Supreme Court justice to officiate a same-sex wedding, The Washington Post reports.

Ginsburg will perform the marriage ceremony for Michael M. Kaiser, president of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and economist John Roberts (no relation to Chief Justice John Roberts) at the performing arts center Saturday.

“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,” Ginsburg told the Post. She added that there will soon be more same-sex marriages performed by Supreme Court justices; she’s doing another one in September.

Ginsburg, an avid arts supporter, has been friends with Kaiser for several years. “I can’t imagine someone I’d rather be married by,” he said of Ginsburg.

Among the invited guests are many performing artists, such as opera star Renee Fleming and Broadway legend Barbara Cook, and philanthropists including Amway cofounder Richard DeVos, who, incidentally, has made donations to anti–marriage equality organizations.

Ginsburg told the Post that most likely, no justice has been asked to perform a same-sex marriage because of the possibility it would be seen as a conflict of interest if they had to rule on marriage equality. But now the justices have already made two such rulings, and Ginsburg, a member of the court’s liberal wing, voted with the majority in June in striking down a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act and in reinstating marriage equality in California. During oral arguments in the DOMA case, which revolved around federal government recognition of same-sex marriages, she memorably said a lack of recognition created “skim-milk marriage.”

The District of Columbia has had legal same-sex marriage since 2010.