By Erin McClam, Staff Writer, NBC News
A cousin of Chief Justice John Roberts who wants to marry her lesbian partner in California says she will attend this week?s landmark Supreme Court argument on gay marriage.
Jean Podrasky will sit in a section of the courtroom reserved for relatives and guests of the chief justice. Her partner of four years, Grace Fasano, will attend with her, she told the Los Angeles Times.
Podrasky said that she has no knowledge of the chief justice?s thinking but expects the court to overturn Proposition 8, a ban on gay marriage that was approved by California voters in 2008.
?He is a smart man,? she told the newspaper. ?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.?
Podrasky, who lives in San Francisco, said that she usually sees the chief justice only on family occasions. She said he knows that she is gay, and that she hopes he will meet her partner during their visit to Washington.
Roberts was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2005. He generally sides with the court?s conservative wing, but last year he sided with liberals on the court in upholding President Barack Obama?s health care overhaul.
The court is hearing two gay-rights cases this week. The argument on Proposition 8 will be Tuesday. The following day, the court will consider the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which blocks federal recognition of gay marriages sanctioned by states.
Podrasky told the newspaper that she got the coveted courtroom seats by emailing Roberts? sister, then going through his secretary. She said that Roberts knows she is attending.
In the weeks before the 2008 election, Podrasky carried a sign opposing Proposition 8 at a transit station and handed out fliers on a college campus, the Times reported.
In a column for the National Center for Lesbian Rights to be published Monday, Podrasky writes that ?everyone in this country? has a gay relative.
?As a Californian, I want nothing more than to marry my wonderful girlfriend,? the column says, as quoted by the newspaper. ?And as a tax-paying citizen, I seek basic fairness.?
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