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."