Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts
Has a Lesbian Cousin in SF
As I was passing the magazine section at Safeway on my way to the pharmacy to pick up some prescriptions, my gaydar starting zinging as my eyes saw the man gracing the cover of the latest issue of Fortune. It was Supreme Court chief justice John Roberts. I've heard talk that he might be a member of the choir, but lack proof that he's gay.
I read the Fortune profile of Roberts and my expectations that a gay case would figure in it were met. The article touches on gay marriage and gay adoption challenges in the lower courts, and how the SCOTUS might rule on such matters:
Roberts is also likely to vote like a conservative if the Court eventually hears the constitutional showdown that [SCOTUS watcher Tom] Goldstein considers "possibly the case of the century": the challenge to the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot initiative forbidding gay marriage.
Numerous gay-rights cases are now working their way through the lower courts, challenging, for instance, the federal Defense of Marriage Act (which says that if gay marriage is allowed in one state, other states and the federal government need not recognize those marriages) and state laws restricting gay adoption. The Prop 8 case will be the toughest case for the gay-rights side to win, Goldstein explains, because it asks the Court to do the most: Strike down a definition of marriage that has prevailed for most of the country's history and that is still used in all but a handful of states. ...
What surprised me though was learning that Roberts, like millions of American families, has a lesbian relative, something I am not aware of being reported until Fortune magazine spoke with his cousin:
At Roberts' confirmation hearings, one of the members of his family that he introduced to the Senators was a cousin named Jean Podrasky.
"I don't know John that well," says Podrasky, 46, in an interview with Fortune, "but he's always been very kind to our family." Roberts gave her a personal tour of the White House as a high school graduation present, she remembers.
Podrasky is gay, as Roberts knows, she says. She lives in San Francisco with her longtime girlfriend. Would she like to be able to get married someday?
Has she ever discussed --
"I really would never disrespect him by asking him about his cases," Podrasky says, interrupting. ...
If it had been reported before that the chief justice of the Supreme Court has a lesbian cousin, I'm almost sure I would have filed that factoid. Googling for any gay or lesbian references to Podrasky didn't turn up much, but she worked in the 1990s at the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. BTW, the transcript of the hearing at which Roberts introduced his cousin shows he made no mention of her being a lesbian.
While I can understand Podrasky not chatting up her influential cousin about cases that might soon come before the Supreme Court, I would still hope that she would talk to him about the real-world impact of his decisions and the affects they have on gay people.
Kudos to Fortune for breaking the news about Roberts' lesbian cousin.