Tributes flood in for justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an equal rights pioneer and fierce LGBT+ champion. Thank you, RBG

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Tributes pour in for trailblazing Supreme Court judge

Celebrities, politicians and LGBT+ activists are among those paying tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the pioneering Supreme Court judge who has sadly died at the age of 87.

The widely respected legal icon, affectionately known as RBG, died at her home on Friday evening (18 September) from complications of metastatic cancer of the pancreas.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was appointed a Supreme Court justice in 1993 by Bill Clinton. She was instrumental in legal victories for women’s rights throughout her time as a lawyer, becoming a feminist icon in her 80s, and was a longtime fighter for equality and staunch LGBT+ ally.

RBG officiated the weddings of at least three same-sex couple’s before the historic Supreme Court ruling made equal marriage legal in all US states.

“Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature,” said Supreme Court chief justice John Roberts.

“We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”

Pete Buttigieg, the first openly gay major presidential candidate, was one of the US politicians to pay a heartfelt tribute to the legal icon: “Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a titan of justice. Her jurisprudence expanded the rights of all Americans, shaping our lives for the better.

“And her example now shines within the history of our country, there to inspire generations.”

“We have lost a giant in the history of our nation with the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter.

“It is heartbreaking that in her final moments she was, as are many others, preoccupied with what would happen after her passing. I want to make one thing clear: we can, and must, fight.”

In a statement dictated to her granddaughter Clara Spera in the days before her death, RBG said: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

Icons from the LGBT+ community also remembered Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose legendary support for queer rights saw her help legalise equal marriage in 2015.

Lesbian footballer Megan Rapinoe said: “This is devastating, an incalculable loss. We owe so much to RBG. Rest in power Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”

The president of the Human Rights Campaign, Alphonso David, added: “We have lost an unqualified, undisputed hero. Justice Ginsburg wasn’t just an iconic jurist – she was an unstoppable force for good.

“We must honour her legacy and fight like never before for justice, fairness and equality for all.”

Laverne Cox thanked Ruth Bade Ginsburg, adding that “your work and life made so much possible for all of us”.

And Janet Mock, the writer and director, also thanked her for “working well BEYOND retirement until the very end because our country needed you”.

“Rest in power to a feminist icon and American hero!” Mock added.

Mariah Carey was one of the celebrities to join in paying tribute to the 87-year-old, writing on Instagram: “Thank you for a lifetime of service. Thank you for changing history.

“We will never let it be undone. RIP RBG.”

Comedian Sarah Silverman added: “Grateful for all she did. And very, very scared.”


David Lammy, the Labour frontbencher and Tottenham MP, said that Ruth Bader Ginsburg was “the single most important female lawyer in the history of the American republic”.

“A fierce advocate of woman’s rights and justice for all people, she will be missed not only in the United States, but across the world. Rest in power,” he added.

After news of her death was announced by the Supreme Court, hundreds of people gathered at the Supreme Court plaza in Washington to mourn her death with a spontaneous candlelit vigil.

People gather to mourn the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the steps in front of the Supreme Court on September 18, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)