Justice Roberts to receive some extra motivation in Prop 8 case.

Chief Justice John Roberts, who will likely be the person deciding the fate of Prop 8 (and what national ramifications come of that decision), will have a little extra motivation to put the judicial axe to discrimination.

An openly gay cousin of Chief Justice John Roberts who wants to marry her partner will be in the room during this week’s Supreme Court hearings on Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, and she predicted her relative will “go in a good direction” on the case.

The part of the article that most stuck out to me was this one:

While Podrasky said she doesn’t know if having a lesbian family member impacts Roberts’ thinking, a Pew Research Center poll released last week found 32 percent of those who became supporters of gay marriage after opposing it did so because they knew someone who was gay.

With regards to the idea that LGBT people are out to destroy marriage or that atheists are malicious people out to destroy, well, the world, coming out of the closet can often be more powerful than the most articulate argument.  Knowing that you know a gay person or an atheist, and knowing that you like them, can create a cognitive dissonance that few arguments can.  For the debater, our struggle is to make a person care about what we say.  However, if you’re coming out of the closet to family or friends, they already care.  They care a lot.

I’m glad she’s going to go sit in that courtroom.  Every one of those Justices is about to affect the lives of some of the people they know.  It’s a pity that only Justice Roberts will have to look one of them in the eye when he issues his decision.

  • invivoMark

    Hmm. While this is obviously pushing things the right way, I’m not sure I’m comfortable with the precedent.

    I mean, what if the case was over teaching creationism in the classroom, and one of the Justices’ brothers, a baptist pastor, sat in the court? Or what if it were a case on abortion, and a Justice’s daughter, who deeply regretted having an abortion, sat in the court?

    Legal matters should be decided on the basis of rationality, not emotion, and that’s true for this case as well. It’s just a coincidence that in this case, rationality and emotion happen to agree.

  • Rain

    Since Sacalia is Catholic, he is probably the only one who doesn’t know any gay people. (The only gay people that Catholics know is Andrew Sullivan.)

    • tubi

      And possibly their priest.

    • Rain

      It’s looking like they will all have to recuse themselves. Otherwise they will be judicial activists legislating from the bench. Yeah, I can hear the fundies already.

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