Two men walked down the aisle in the nation’s capital yesterday. Nothing new, since same-sex marriage has been legal in D.C. for the past six years. But this wedding was extraordinary — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg officiated.
The men in question were Michael Kahn, artistic director of the city’s Shakespeare Company, and Charles Mitchum, a New York interior designer.
When it came time pronounce the men husband and husband, the Notorious RBG made a unique addendum.
“With a sly look and special emphasis on the word ‘Constitution,’ Justice Ginsburg said that she was pronouncing the two men married by the powers vested in her by the Constitution of the United States,” the New York Times‘ Maureen Dowd reported.
The extra emphasis Justice Ginsburg placed on the word “Constitution” apparently had the wedding guests applauding wildly in approval.
Last month, as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that may determine whether same-sex marriages will be legally recognized throughout the country, Justice Ginsburg made her opinions on the matter clear.
“Marriage today is not what it was under the common law tradition, under the civil law tradition,” she said, challenging the more conservative justices’ arguments for preserving marriage in the traditional sense. “Marriage was a relationship of a dominant male to a subordinate female. That ended as a result of this court’s decision in 1982, when Louisiana’s Head and Master Rule was struck down. Would that be a choice that state should be allowed to have? To cling to marriage the way it once was?”
Justice Ginsburg added that recognizing same-sex marriage wouldn’t change much for straight couples.
“How could that be? Because all of the incentives, all of the benefits of marriage affords would still be available,” she said. “So you’re not taking away anything from heterosexual couples. They would have the very same incentive to marry, all the benefits that come with marriage that they do now.”
Whether or not name-checking the Constitution this weekend was a hint to the outcome of this case, we know where Justice Ginsburg stands.
Learn more here http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/05/18/presiding-at-same-sex-wedding-ruth-bader-ginsburg-emphasizes-a-key-word/?_r=1