Everyone knows someone who is gay, and today's Supreme Court hearing on Proposition 8 will impact everyone, not least of all Chief Justice John Roberts, whose lesbian cousin is attending the hearing with her partner of four years.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Jean Podrasky is Roberts' first cousin on his mother's side (Roberts' mother is also Podrasky's godmother). Podrasky scored the highly-coveted courtroom seats (according to an NPR report earlier this morning, even though the hearing is free to attend, some people are shelling out as much as $6,000 for someone to save them a spot in line) by leveraging her family connection to Roberts and then emailing his secretary. Though the cousins only see each other a few times a year at family gatherings, Roberts knows that Podrasky is gay, and introduced her along with other members of his family during his Senate confirmation hearing.
Podrasky is obviously very excited to be at the hearing, and though she has no personal insight into Roberts' decision-making process (sorry, oddsmakers), she thinks that her cousin senses the shifting tide in America and will help overturn Prop. 8, leaving her free to marry her partner, Grace Fasano. A San Francisco resident, Podrasky has been active in the effort to overturn the 2008 California ballot initiative, and was recently invited by the San Francisco-based National Center for Lesbian Rights to write a guest column about being in such close familial proximity to the chief justice.
Podrasky explained that the Prop. 8 hearing affects everyone because members of America's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities aren't living in some isolated communes in Castro and Chelsea — they're regular people, neighbors, friends, family members, that asshole who doesn't pick up his dog's poop, that friendly barista who makes you a bangin' cappuccino:
Everyone in this country has a family member who is part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community… As a Californian, I want nothing more than to marry my wonderful girlfriend. And as a tax-paying citizen, I seek basic fairness.
Today's hearing ended around noon. The Supreme Court will hear more arguments on Wednesday.