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.”


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  • GayTampaCowboy

    WOW! Now THIS i didn’t know!

    In preparing to follow tomorrow’s arguments, it became clear that all of the SCOTUS-watchers agree it will most likely come down to Justice Roberts for the deciding vote.

    So, on one hand, i’m really happy to know that not only does Justice Roberts have
    a gay relative – HE INVITED HER AND HER PARTNER to attend the arguments! On the
    other hand, i have to balance this excitement with the reality that despite this fact, Roberts can still use this “invite” to prove he can look beyond the “personal” to
    render his decision.

    And finally, i don’t know what’s worse, the fear that we could lose BOTH cases, OR the
    fact that we’ll have to wait MANY MONTHS to hear their decision!

    I won’t have any fingernails left! ahhaah

  • Joel J

    @GayTampaCowboy: If not Justice Roberts then Justice Ken
    nedy who has come down in our favor in previous gay discrimination cases.

  • Cam

    Roberts broke with the conservatives on The Health Care issue and now he gives a gay relative tickets to sit in his family section.

    I think the Tea Party is going to be furious at this guy again in a few days.

  • John Doe

    I may not always agree with Roberts, but I was extremely impressed with him during the nomination hearings.

    Yes, I’m one of those people that enjoy watching hours of “live coverage” on something like this…. vs. the 3 second news clips via the media later.

    I do believe that Roberts has a keen understanding of his role as Chief Justice AND that he is mindful of the legacy of “his” court. I just cannot imagine that he’d vote against equality considering what happened decades ago with black civil rights being denied because of a SCOTUS ruling. That past ruling is like a scar upon the Supreme Court.

  • Stache1

    Not to mention he’d have to look in his cousins eyes and explain why he thinks she’s a second class citizen.

  • Fidelio

    I’m nervous that she may be, inadvertently, be putting added pressure on Roberts by speaking out about how he may be ruling. It may be smarter to just not speculate on how he is ruling for the sake of a little decorum.

  • brokeback gypsy

    Wake up. This is a ZERO indicator of how Roberts will rule. Read what the article says and not what you WANT it to say. FACT – there are tickets available to court for family/guests. FACT – she had to REQUEST the tickets. He did not have to give them to her, but then why shouldn’t he give them to her if they were available. It is not saying that he ASKED her to attend because she is family (and she is family). And it really does not matter that he has to look her in the eye. I have had family members look me square in the eye and say some pretty cruel things because of their beliefs. He is on the highest court and should rise above anything personal.

    I do think both rulings (at least Prop 8) will come down in our favor because of the make up of the court and the fairly recent tide change in public opinion (both of which are results of MUCH work by many of us activists) AND I believe them to be the right thing to do for equality.

  • Billysees

    @GayTampaCowboy: 1

    “I won’t have any fingernails left! ahhaah”


  • Billysees

    @Stache1: 6

    “Not to mention he’d have to look in his cousins eyes and explain why he thinks she’s a second class citizen.”

    Realistic comment.

  • Joel J

    @Jay Sheckley: It sounds as if the Court is going to let the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision stand, which would mean that Prop 8 is struck down in California.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    How many dollars have been drained from the gay community? What could we have done with those dollars? Follow the money. This is about draining our resources, so that we are crippled to take on any number of other issues. I say the next issue we take on is taxing any church that involves itself in politics.

  • Freddie27

    @Jay Sheckley: Ummm, Chief Justice Roberts wasn’t even on the Court when Lawrence was decided. Justice Kennedy wrote the opinion.

  • EGO

    I expect Chief Justice John Roberts to make a logical decision regarding this civil issue about equal rights, not a religious decision. Inviting his gay cousin and partner indicates to me that he recognizes them as American citizens who expect equal rights.

  • Billysees

    @1EqualityUSA: 13

    “I say the next issue we take on is taxing any church that involves itself in politics.”

    That’s not the job of the Gay community.

    Leave that up to watchdog or other better situated groups.

  • Joel J

    @Billysees: Believe it or not, that is the job of the Internal Revenue Service. The law is already on the books. We should insist that the IRS enforce it. When a church advocates for a law that discriminates against LGBT persons, we should demand action.

  • Billysees

    @Joel J: 17

    I didn’t think that the IRS would have anything to do with this issue.

    So now we know who to encourage to grapple with this situation and do what is the right or best thing.

    But I think that seeing any serious action on their part will be easier spoken of than actually done.

    It seems that only a serious violator would be good target for the IRS.

    But so many violations are probably small stuff, so the impetus won’t materialize.

    So now what — who’s gonna push the IRS about this matter ?

  • Joel J

    @Billysees: The Congress appropriates the IRS budget and they conduct oversight on IRS performance. I believe the IRS did go after some churches in 2004 for illegally promoting the election of George Bush.

  • Billysees

    @Joel J: 19

    I think you’re right about the IRS going after some churches during the Bush years.
    Don’t recall the results.

    When churches are involved in this kind of wrong doing, there is an enormous amount of arrogance and self-righteousness with them that they’ll cry “persecution” and then the political motivation can be hampered in the Congress.

Comments are closed.