Chief Justice Roberts's lesbian cousin to attend gay marriage hearing

The lesbian cousin of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will attend Tuesday's oral arguments examining California's Proposition 8 ballot initiative, which bans gay marriage in the state.

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Jean Podrasky, a San Francisco woman who says she hopes to marry her partner, told the Los Angeles Times that she plans to be at the court for the arguments. She told the paper the chief justice knows that she is gay, and that she attended his confirmation hearing along with other family members.

Podrasky also said she hopes to introduce Roberts to Grace Fasano, her partner of four years, during the trip to Washington, and is optimistic about how her relative will rule.

"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.”

But Podrasky also said she didn't know whether her presence, or having a family member who was openly gay, would sway her cousin.

“Everybody knows somebody [who is gay]," she said. “It probably impacts everybody.”

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The Supreme Court is hearing arguments on the constitutionality of California's law banning same-sex marriages on Tuesday and separate arguments on the legality of the Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday.

That federal law, implemented during the Clinton administration, defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman and prevents the federal government from conferring marriage benefits on same-sex couples.