August 12, 2015 at 11:03 am EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Ginsburg presides as gay U.S. ambassador renews vows

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, gay news, Washington Blade

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Aug. 8, 2015, presided over the ceremony during which gay U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius and his husband, Clayton Bond, renewed their vows. (Photo public domain)

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Aug. 8 presided over the ceremony during which gay U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius and his husband renewed their wedding vows.

The private ceremony took place at Osius’ official residence in Hanoi.

Osius told the Washington Blade that Ginsburg officiated the wedding of gay friends of his and his husband, Clayton Bond. The two men nevertheless did not know Ginsburg until she arrived in Vietnam earlier this month on a trip sponsored by the State Department’s U.S. Speaker Program where she met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court Truong Hoa Binh and other senior officials from the Southeast Asian country.

Ginsburg accepted the couple’s invitation to stay at their home in Hanoi while she was in the Vietnamese capital. Osius said a colleague suggested that he and Bond ask Ginsburg to renew their vows.

“We thought it might be meaningful not only to us, but to the LGBT community in Vietnam,” Osius told the Blade.

Osius told the Blade that he and Bond used the same vows they wrote for their 2006 wedding in Canada. The couple invited several young Vietnamese LGBT rights advocates to the ceremony.

Osius told the Blade that Ginsburg told him and Bond that “officiating over the renewal of our vows was ‘a joy.’”

“She is one of the most extraordinary people we have ever met,” said Osius.

Osius and Bond renewed their vows less than two months after the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision said same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry throughout the country. The ceremony also took place against the backdrop of an increasingly visible Vietnamese LGBT rights movement.

Ginsburg in May married Shakespeare Theatre Company Artistic Director Michael Kahn and his husband, Charles Mitchem, at the Anderson House in Northwest Washington. Ginsburg in 2013 became the first U.S. Supreme Court justice to officiate a same-sex wedding when she married then-Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser and economist John Roberts.

Osius is one of six openly gay U.S. ambassadors.

Ted Osius, gay news, Washington Blade

Clayton Bond and U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius with their son, Tabo (Photo by David Evans)

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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