Presiding at Same-Sex Wedding, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Emphasizes the Word ‘Constitution’
The groom and groom strolled down the aisle to the mellow strains of “Mr. Sandman.”
Wearing her black robe with her signature white lace collar, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg presided over the marriage on Sunday afternoon of Michael Kahn, the longtime artistic director of the Shakespeare Theater Company in Washington, and Charles Mitchem, who works at an architecture firm in New York.
The gilded setting was elegant: Anderson House in the Embassy Row neighborhood, the headquarters in Washington of the Society of the Cincinnati, a club for the descendants of the French and American soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War. During the ceremony, the couple slipped black and gold Harry Winston rings onto each other’s fingers.
But the most glittering moment for the crowd came during the ceremony. 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.
No one was sure if she was emphasizing her own beliefs or giving a hint to the outcome of the case the Supreme Court is considering whether to decide if same-sex marriage is constitutional.
But the guests began applauding loudly, delighted either way. Justice Ginsburg, who has officiated at same-sex weddings in the past, also seemed delighted, either by their reaction or, perhaps, by the news that she will be played in a movie by Natalie Portman (who, in a strange casting segue, will play Jackie Kennedy Onassis in another film).
After the ceremony, the theme from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” played, and the crowd adjourned to the terrace for champagne, sidecars and sliders.
Taking off her robe to reveal a glamorous jacket with a cream satin leaf motif, Justice Ginsburg reigned as belle of the same-sex ball.
And the music, being the food of love, played on.
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