PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg led a life that broke barriers, even after her death. On Friday, a Philadelphia-trained opera singer is remembering the justice for not only supporting his opera career but also his marriage and the rights of all LGBTQ+ people.
“She was so sweet,” Jarrett Ott, who was married by Ginsburg, said. “She made it so personalized for both of us.”
Ginsburg was an icon. Outside of championing human rights, the Supreme Court justice spent a lot of time at the opera. Ott reminisces about the brilliant figure that watched him perform at the Sante Fe Opera in New Mexico.
“She comes every summer and hears every single opera,” Ott said, “and it’s such a great experience for the audience to sit next to Justice Ginsburg and these young artists and these huge big-time named opera singers to sing for someone who’s so respected throughout our whole entire country.”
Two summers ago, the Lehigh Valley native and his now-husband Adam mustered up the courage to ask Ginsburg to officiate their wedding. She was delighted.
“She sent us back and forth email correspondence directly from her email address,” Ott said, “asking if this worked for us, and she wants it to go this way or that way.”
With the prospect of a new justice being installed before the impending presidential election, Ott is concerned about what that could mean for the LGBTQ+ rights in the United States.
“Going forward, I hope that our marriage certificate still holds up because I’m afraid that might get taken away,” Ott said. “I’m no less human than anybody, none of us are less human than anybody and I can only hope that a person gets put in there that has a moral value that I personally hold high.”
For now, Ott and his cohort of comrades will continue to hold RBG in their thoughts as they mourn this huge loss to the opera community.