Chief Justice Roberts' lesbian cousin to attend same-sex marriage hearings
March 25th, 2013
12:24 PM ET
1 year ago

Chief Justice Roberts' lesbian cousin to attend same-sex marriage hearings

(CNN) - Jean Podrasky, a lesbian whose cousin happens to be Chief Justice John Roberts, will attend this week's Supreme Court oral arguments on two cases dealing with same-sex marriage, CNN confirmed Monday.

In an op-ed emailed to members of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Podrasky expressed optimism that her first cousin, a conservative, will rule in favor of her–and countless others'–desire to marry.

"I know that my cousin is a good man," she 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."

Podrasky, who lives in San Francisco, wants to marry her partner of four years, Grace Fasano. The high court will hear challenges to Proposition 8, the voter-approved same-sex marriage ban in California, and to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a 1996 congressional law that says for federal purposes, marriage is defined as only between one man and one woman.

Podrasky actively campaigned against Proposition 8 during its tumultuous ride through California courts.

Podrasky is an accountant and the first cousin of Roberts on his mother's side. She told the Los Angeles Times last week that she hopes Roberts will get to meet her partner during her trip to Washington.

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

While Podrasky said she only sees Roberts on family occasions, she was invited to attend his Senate confirmation hearing in 2005, when he was nominated to the Supreme Court by then-President George W. Bush.

She was able to get her spot for this week's hearings by emailing Roberts' sister, then going through his secretary to get seats for her partner, her sister and her niece, according to the Times. The chief justice is aware that Podrasky will be in attendance.

"I believe he understands that ruling in favor of equality will not be out of step with where the majority of Americans now sit," she wrote Monday in the NCLR op-ed. "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."

WATCH: Podrasky will be on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" Tuesday night starting at 8 p.m. ET.


Filed under: John Roberts • Same-sex marriage • Supreme Court
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. freedom

    This is the man who put the nail in the coffin for Obamacare. Now, he's going to be biased because his cousin is a lesbian? The justices are supposed to be unbiased. Is she tyring to influence his ruling by putting public pressure on him? If he's that weak, he's in the wrong job. And he should have to live under Obamacare, since he forced it on all of us. All the laws they pass, they should have to live by. No special privileges.

    March 25, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    I am still waiting to hear an argument against same sex marriage that is not grounded in religious beliefs. Quoting the teaching of the Bible, or any other religious tome, is totally unacceptable. This country was founded upon the principle of "separation of church and state". Hypocrites want to ban "muslim sharia law", but yet they wish to instill their own version of it.

    March 25, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. Ann

    My, my. Another conservative with a relative coming out of the closet. I hope she can have some influence on him.

    March 25, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I know that my cousin is a good man," she 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."
    -------------------------------------------------
    Hmm.
    Dark-skinned Cubans have a saying that they use in regards to their lighter-skinned compatriots whenever they felt looked down upon by same. Loosely translated it says: "If you look under your bed you will find a dark-skinned relative".
    The same can be said of many "straights", whether they are Democrat, or Republican. They are either related to someone who is gay or know someone that is gay.
    When we ignore the rights of others, when we deny them their dignity we could very well be doing it by extension to someoe that we cre about.
    Good luck to my Gay brothers and sisters. I stand with you.

    March 25, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  5. Syd

    That could make next familyThanksgiving a little awkward.

    March 25, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. Sid Airfoil

    Freedom: So any person who disagrees with you is weak? Pretty arrogant. And Roberts DOES live under Obamacare, just like everyone else.

    Sid

    March 25, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  7. Donna

    Rudy NYC
    I am still waiting to hear an argument against same sex marriage that is not grounded in religious beliefs.
    ===========

    Marriage was a religious sacriment long before it was anything else. And yes, our government wa sbased on many religious tenants and I know that irks you lefties to no end. But it is FACT. FACT you wish to re-write history on, like you try to do with everything else, to suit your goldless political agenda.

    March 25, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  8. MesaMax

    There are skeletons in everyones' closet.

    March 25, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Ann

    My, my. Another conservative with a relative coming out of the closet. I hope she can have some influence on him.
    ----------------
    Let's hope not. It would be better if Justice Roberts came to the right conclusion on his own like Sen. Portman did.

    March 25, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  10. Guest

    If you cant create a family together, in my mind, it is not marriage. Have your civil union but leave marriage alone. Should everything this nation was founded upon simply be pissed away to appease the left extreme? I dont think so.

    March 25, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  11. The Other Bob

    freedom

    This is the man who put the nail in the coffin for Obamacare. Now, he's going to be biased because his cousin is a lesbian? The justices are supposed to be unbiased. Is she tyring to influence his ruling by putting public pressure on him? If he's that weak, he's in the wrong job. And he should have to live under Obamacare, since he forced it on all of us. All the laws they pass, they should have to live by. No special privileges.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Written like someone with no clue as to what the ACA really is. Carry on.

    March 25, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  12. spazzo

    If i was him I would be embarassed.

    March 25, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  13. JT in SD

    @freedom - Why exactly would Roberts be "biased" by having a lesbian cousin? Are you saying that anyone who knows a gay person should recuse himself from hearing the case? Are you saying the female justices were biased in the Lilly Ledbetter case? Black judges should never hear cases involving civil rights? It's a slippery slope, my friend...

    March 25, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  14. Publix

    I have a cousin who is a left-handed lesbian midget and she is ultra conservative. I wonder how many people like her there are in the country?

    March 25, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  15. palintwit

    I love it when a Tea Party Patriot's head explodes.

    March 25, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Guest wrote:

    If you cant create a family together, in my mind, it is not marriage. Have your civil union but leave marriage alone. Should everything this nation was founded upon simply be pissed away to appease the left extreme? I dont think so.
    ---------------
    I'll be sure to pass that opinion along to the thousands of married couples out there trying to start families but cannot for one medical reason or another. "Sorry, you ain't really married until you have some kids." Yet coming out of the other corner of their mouths, the right wing also espouses that people should not have kids if they cannot afford them.

    March 25, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  17. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rudy NYC
    Hypocrites want to ban "muslim sharia law", but yet they wish to instill their own version of it.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Correct.
    You can't make these people up.

    March 25, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  18. Robert

    If the courts allow gay marriage, how will they be able to prevent thresome marriages? And foursomes? And X-somes? It will open the door for anything goes. It's a slippery slope. Once we change the definition of marriage, the institution will mean whatever society is willing to tolerate-whereever the culutral wind will blow in the next few decades.

    March 25, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  19. Michelle Saddler

    I'm still waiting for someone to show me where in the Constitution exists any right to marry anyone? I sure can't find it. I also can't see anything in the constitution that says something popular should be legal and something unpopular illegal. Certainly that is something a legislature can take into consideration, but its not a topic for constitutional law.

    March 25, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  20. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rudy NYC

    Ann

    My, my. Another conservative with a relative coming out of the closet. I hope she can have some influence on him.
    ------
    Let's hope not. It would be better if Justice Roberts came to the right conclusion on his own like Sen. Portman did
    -------------------------------------------------
    Rudy, I strongly believe that Senator Portman was influenced by the fact that his son is gay. True his son did not ask him to change his views (as far as we the public know), but I do believe that in light of the fact that his son is gay he did not want to be guilty of inflicting on others what would ultimately befall his own son.

    March 25, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  21. emskadittle

    "Guest" There are plenty of straight married couples that cannot conceive children, should their marriages be annulled?

    March 25, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  22. Ann

    @Rudy NYC - The argument isn't necessarily against gay marriage. The argument is about traditional marriage, one man and one woman. I can see a verdict in which DOMA is repealed, because the federal government shouldn't define what a marriage is. It should be left up to the states, which could mean that Proposition 8 could stand. Each state has it's own marriage laws. So, a state has the right to define a marriage as being between one man and one woman, just like the states have a right to not allow anyone under 18 to marry, if that is their law. Yes, a law that defines a marriage as being between one man and one woman discrimintes, but then again, ALL laws discriminate in some way...but states have that right. By defining a marriage as being between one man and one woman, that state is stating that they do not recognize the marriage between same-sex couples, mormons, plural marriages, object marriages, etc. So, a one man and one woman definition (which is applied equally to every person) clearly discriminates against several people and does not target just same-sex couples, which could make it Constitutional.

    March 25, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  23. dwight

    The irony here is that those that have come out in support of same -sex marriage are still against polygamy, incestual marriage, adult-children marriage, etc., becuase it is political to do so. Where is the equality for a brother-sister marriage, a man marrying three wives, a 60 yr. old marrying a 13 yr.old, etc? For some reason a man marrying his sister is un-natural, but a man marrying another man isn't.

    March 25, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  24. David Trieger

    Myth
    Homosexuals Do Not Enjoy Rights Like Other Citizens.

    Response: As Americans, homosexuals are entitled to equal rights, not special rights. Their behavior based lifestyle does not qualify for privileged minority status under the U.S. law. All individuals; good, bad, homosexual, or whatever, are protected under the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. As a class, the courts have repeatedly denied homosexuals their claim to "insular and discreet" minority status, quotas and affirmative action. Homosexuality is a behavior, not a race. Homosexuality is defined by the act of sodomy (sex with members of the same sex). Homosexuals fight for protection by drawing an analogy between themselves and African Americans before the civil rights movement, and by presenting themselves as severely persecuted. Is the analogy reasonable? People of color cannot abandon their color the way many homosexuals have abandoned their perverse lifestyle. Protection of homosexuals is based on behavior held as immoral by the majority of people. An African American or a Caucasian can be either morally upright or morally corrupt; a practicing homosexual seeks social sanction of inherently illicit activities, not of an immutable or constitutionally recognized trait.

    IN ORDER FOR A GROUP TO MEET MINORITY STATUES ACCORDING
    TO UNITED STATES LAW THEY MUST MEET THREE QUALIFICATIONS.
    HOMOSEXUALS DO NOT FULFILL ANY OF THEM!

    1. The class must have suffered a history of discrimination which is evidenced by the lack of ability to obtain economic mean income, adequate education and be deprived of cultural opportunities.

    Table 2. The Wall Street Journal reported the results of a nationwide marketing study
    about discrimination. The results prove homosexuals have not been discriminated against.
    Issue

    Black Americans Homosexual Americans
    Average Household Income 12,166 $55,430
    % College Grads 5% 60%
    % Management 1% 49%
    Taken Overseas Vacation 1% 66%
    Refused the Right to Vote Yes No
    Legally Segregated Yes No
    Legally Denied Access to Public Bathrooms Yes No
    Legally Denied Access to Business Yes No

    2. The class must exhibit obvious, immutable or distinguishable characteristics that define them as an insular and discrete group.
    **There is no way distinguish a homosexual from a heterosexual. There has never been confirmed evidence of the existence of a "homosexual gene."

    3. The class must show they are politically powerless.
    ** In 1992 election, homosexual activists donated $3.4 million to President Clinton’s campaign and supplied many other campaigns with volunteers and contributions.

    March 25, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. Donna

    The Other Bob
    Written like someone with no clue as to what the ACA really is
    ----

    It is costing twice (and climbing) as much as they said it would.
    It is insuring millions less than they said it would.
    It will result in millions losing their current insurance and doctors when Obama said it wouldn't.
    The long term care portion of it that was supposed to "save" billions was deemed impossible to implement, and dropped.
    The taxes on medical devices were repealed by BOTH Democrats and Republicans because it would have cost thousands of jobs.

    What ACA is, is an ummitgated disaster and it hasn't even started in full force yet. Then it will become painfully obvious to the American people just what the Democrats and their far left President did to them and their healthcare system.

    March 25, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
1 2 3 4