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Lesbian cousin of Supreme Court's chief justice to attend Prop. 8 hearing

March 25, 2013|By Maura Dolan

SAN FRANCISCO -- When the U.S. Supreme Court conducts a hearing Tuesday on Proposition 8, the lesbian cousin of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will be in attendance.

Roberts is a conservative appointed by President George W. Bush in 2005. Jean Podrasky, 48, who is more liberal and the first cousin of the chief justice, said she rooted for his nomination to be approved by the U.S. Senate.

"He is family," she said.

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Podrasky lives in San Francisco and said she usually sees Roberts only on family occasions. His mother is her godmother, whom she said 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 obtained the highly coveted courtroom seats by emailing Roberts' sister, Peggy Roberts, and then going through his secretary. Roberts knows she is attending, she said.

She, her partner, her sister and her niece will attend Tuesday's arguments on Proposition 8. On Wednesday, her father will take her niece's place for the hearing on the challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act.

The San Francisco-based National Center for Lesbian Rights, which has fought for marriage rights, invited Podrasky to do a guest column about being related to the chief justice. The column will be emailed to members Monday.

"Everyone in this country has a family member who is part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community," she wrote. "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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Email: maura.dolan@latimes.com

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