Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will become the first Supreme Court member to conduct a same-sex marriage ceremony today when she officiates at the Washington wedding of Kennedy Center president Michael Kaiser.
The gala wedding of Kaiser and economist John Roberts at the performing arts center brings together the nation's highest court and the capital's high society, and will mark a new milepost in recognition of same-sex unions.
Such marriages were virtually unheard of a little more than a decade ago but now are legal in the nation's capital, 13 states and in all or part of 17 other countries. After victories at the Supreme Court this summer, a wave of litigation is challenging bans on same-sex marriages in states where they remain prohibited.
Ginsburg seemed excited during a recent interview about being the first member of the court to conduct such a ceremony and said it was only a logical next step. "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 added: "It won't be long before there will be another" performed by a justice. Indeed, she has another set for September.
Ginsburg and Kaiser are close friends. She is perhaps the Supreme Court's most ardent supporter of the fine arts, especially opera. Kaiser has been at the helm of the Kennedy Center since 2001 and is an internationally recognized expert in arts management and one of Washington's most civic influential leaders.
"I can't imagine someone I'd rather be married by" than Ginsburg, Kaiser said in an interview.
Roberts, who works at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is not related to Chief Justice John Roberts. When cards were sent in spring, there were jokes about the coincidence of names.