One of the four judges on the Supreme Court that voted to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act was Chief Justice John Roberts; now that it has been struck down, however, one of those planning to marry her longtime partner is Jean Podrasky—Roberts’ lesbian cousin.
In an interview with Talking Points Memo, Podrasky said that she and Roberts have very different politics. “I’m from a very, very big family — I have 12 cousins on both sides of the family,” she explained. “I want to say that quite a bit of my family on that side are quite conservative and pretty Catholic. We have differences of opinions on many many things, but we are still family.”
She had hoped Roberts would vote for equality, especially since he was in favor of letting the California court’s ruling against Proposition 8 be the final word: “I was stunned he kind of went one way for us on one of the rulings, and the other way on the DOMA ruling.”
Regardless of her cousin’s views on whether she should be entitled to the full federal benefits of marriage, it is thanks in part to him that she will be able to get legally married in her own state of California.
Though it is expected that marriage certificates could be issued to same-sex couples as early as July 21, Podrasky and partner Grace Fasano are planning to hold their wedding in spring 2014. Though Podrasky plans on inviting family, whether or not Roberts will be the recipient of a “save the date” card is still something they’re not sure about. “We don’t have our guest lists yet,” she said.
Roberts is far from the first conservative lawmaker with a known gay relative; formerly anti-equality Dick Cheney famously came out in favor of same-sex marriage after his daughter Mary came out (although it took him a while to come around).
However, many others have not been so open-minded: Alan Keyes disowned his own daughter, Maya, when she came out as a lesbian; Karl Rove has denied knowing that his father is gay; Newt Gingrich pretends his half-sister, an LGBT activist, and her wife don’t exist; Michele Bachmann, whose gay step-sister came out at one of Bachmann’s own anti-LGBT rallies; and Christine O’Donnell, Tea Party member and anti-masturbation crusader, who has a lesbian sister, have all shown they aren’t quite as pro-family as they would claim.