Chief Justice John Roberts Gives Lesbian Cousin Front-Row Seat To Prop 8 Hearing

prodraskyIf having an openly gay person in your life is more likely to make you embrace the LGBT community, then we’ve got a secret weapon in Jean Podrasky, the first lesbian cousin of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

Roberts gave Podrasky a highly coveted ticket to the Supreme Court’s hearing on California’s Prop 8, set to begin on Tuesday.

Podrasky, who will sit in seating reserved for family members and guests of the Justices, says she feels “quite honored and overwhelmed.”

Roberts is a conservative appointed by President George W. Bush in 2005. Podrasky, who is more liberal, said she rooted for his nomination to be approved by the U.S. Senate. “He is family,”  she said.

Podrasky lives in San Francisco and usually sees Roberts only on family occasions. His mother is her godmother, whom she adores. She said Roberts knows she is gay and introduced her along with other relatives during his Senate confirmation hearing. She hopes he will meet her partner of four years, Grace Fasano, during their Washington visit. The couple flew to Washington on Sunday.

“He is a smart man,” she said. “He is a good man. I believe he sees where the tide is going. I do trust him. I absolutely trust that he will go in a good direction.”

Podrasky, 48, will be attending with her partner Grace Fasano, as well as her sister and niece. She scored the passes by contacting Roberts’ sister and court secretary.  On Wednesday, her father will join them as the Court hears challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act.

“Everyone in this country has a family member who is part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community,” Pordrasky wrote in a guest column for the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “As a Californian, I want nothing more than to marry my wonderful girlfriend. And as a tax-paying citizen, I seek basic fairness.”