WASHINGTON, D.C., September 3, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – After the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision striking down key portions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which had previously banned federal recognition of same-sex “marriages,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Saturday became the first Supreme Court justice to officiate a same-sex “wedding.”
Prior to June’s ruling, Ginsburg, now 80, had told The New Yorker magazine that while she would be open to officiating at gay nuptials, she had never been asked to do so, despite the fact that same-sex “marriage” has been legal in Washington, D.C. since 2009.
“I don't think anybody's asking us, because of [the DOMA] cases,” she told the magazine at the time. “No one in the gay-rights movement wants to risk having any member of the court be criticized or asked to recuse. So I think that's the reason no one has asked me.”
But with the DOMA and Proposition 8 cases now ruled on, Ginsburg presided over the “wedding” of 59-year-old Kennedy Center President Michael Kaiser and his 32-year-old lover John Roberts, a commodities regulator, at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday.
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Kaiser told the Associated Press he asked Ginsburg to officiate “mostly” because she is a longtime friend, but said he also hoped the inevitable news coverage of what is sure to become a historical footnote would help to normalize gay “marriage” in the eyes of the public.
“It's very meaningful mostly to have a friend officiate, and then for someone of her stature, it's a very big honor,” Kaiser told the AP. “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.”
For her part, Ginsburg told the Washington Post that her choice to preside over the homosexual couple’s ceremony was intended to send a message.
“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 said.
She told the paper she plans to officiate another same-sex ceremony in September.