Chief Justice Roberts' Lesbian Cousin: He'll Rule in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage

March 25, 2013 - 5:00 PM
Chief Justice John Roberts (AP Photo)

Chief Justice John Roberts (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts’ cousin, a lesbian seeking to get married in California who will have reserved seating for relatives at two upcoming cases, wrote that she believes her cousin will rule in favor of same-sex marriage in an op-ed posted on the National Council for Lesbian Rights.

A spokesperson for the court did not respond to questions about a potential conflict for Roberts.

“I know that my cousin is a good man,” Jean Podrasky, 48, of San Francisco wrote. “I feel confident that John is wise enough to see that society is becoming more accepting of the humanity of same-sex couples and the simple truth that we deserve to be treated with dignity, respect, and equality under the law.

“I believe he understands that ruling in favor of equality will not be out of step with where the majority of Americans now sit. I am hoping that the other justices (at least most of them) will share this view, because I am certain that I am not the only relative that will be directly affected by their rulings,” she added.

In her op-ed, Podrasky cited Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) as a policymaker who was persuaded on the matter because of a family member who was gay.

“Ohio Senator Rob Portman’s recent change of heart got me thinking a little more about family relationships and the impact that living your life proudly, and honestly, may have on those who have yet to become allies,” Podrasky wrote.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear a case on California’s Proposition 8 regarding the state’s voter-approved ban on gay marriage. On Wednesday, the high court hears arguments about the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the Clinton-era law that recognizes marriage as only between one man and one woman for federal government purposes.

CNSNews.com contacted the chief justice’s office, which referred the call to the Supreme Court public information office. CNSNews.com asked for confirmation of a story first reported by the Los Angeles Times that Podrasky and her partner would be at the hearing in seating reserved for family members and guests of Chief Justice Roberts.

CNSNews.com also asked if so, whether Roberts potentially would have a personal interest in the outcome of the case.

A spokesperson did not have a comment on the matter at press time. A staffer at the public information office told CNSNews.com in the morning and again in the late afternoon that Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathleen Arberg had the questions.

Podrasky also wrote, “Everyone in this country has a family member who is part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. And that includes Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. You see, I am his first cousin. And I’m a lesbian.”

Roberts’ mother is Podrasky’s godmother, the L.A. Times reported. Podrasky told the Times that Roberts knows she is gay. She hoped to introduce her partner Grace Fasano to him in Washington, the L.A. Times reported. “I believe he sees where the tide is going. I do trust him. I absolutely trust that he will go in a good direction,” she told the newspaper.

The Times reported that Podrasky obtained the courtroom seats by emailing Roberts’ sister, Peggy Roberts, and then going through the chief justice’s secretary. Podrasky, Fasano, Podrasky’s sister and niece will attend Tuesday’s arguments on Proposition 8. On Wednesday, Podrasky’s father will take her niece’s place for the hearing on the challenge to the DOMA law.

In the lead up to the November 2008 election, Podrasky carried a sign that said, “Prop. 8 is hate,” the Times reported.