Justice Roberts’ lesbian cousin to attend Prop 8 and DOMA hearings

The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP File

A lesbian cousin of Chief Justice John Roberts will attend this week’s landmark Supreme Court arguments on marriage equality.

“I am so excited,” Jean Podrasky said to the Los Angeles Times. “I feel quite honored and overwhelmed.”

In a column for the National Center for Lesbian Rights website, Podrasky wrote that she is confident that Roberts, her first cousin, will see that gays deserve “dignity, respect, and equality under the law.”

Podrasky 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…

As a Californian, I want nothing more than to marry my wonderful girlfriend. And as a tax-paying citizen, I seek basic fairness. In over 1,000 ways, the government penalizes our relationship because it is not recognized under federal law. There are obviously many more reasons I want to get married, but there’s nothing more important to me than being legally recognized as married to the person I love—just like heterosexual couples…

I know that my cousin is a good man. 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.

Podrasky said she will sit in a section of the courtroom reserved for relatives and guests of the chief justice. Roberts knows she is attending, and her partner of four years, Grace Fasano, whom she wants to marry, will be there with her.

Podrasky told the newspaper that she usually sees the chief justice only on family occasions and that he knows she is gay. She hopes he will meet her partner during their visit to Washington.

NBCNews.com and Pete Williams contributed to this report. 

Read her Podrasky’s column for NCLR here.