The lesbian cousin of the US Supreme Court’s Chief Justice has said she will attend the hearings this week around equal marriage.

Jean Podrasky will attend the landmark hearings with her partner of four years, Grace Fasano. Podrasky, a cousin of Chief Justice John Roberts, has said she would like to marry Fasano.

The pair will sit in a special section of the court which is reserved for relatives and guests of the Chief Justice.

Podrasky said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times that she did not know how Justice Roberts felt on the matter, but that she expected the court to overturn Proposition 8, a 2008 constitutional ban on equal marriage in the state of California.

“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.”

In a column for the National Center for Lesbian Rights to be published Monday, she wrote: “As a Californian, I want nothing more than to marry my wonderful girlfriend,” she said “And as a tax-paying citizen, I seek basic fairness.”

She said that “everyone in this country [the US]“, has a gay relative.

Podrasky lives in San Francisco and said that she normally only sees Justice Roberts on family occasions. She said he knew she was gay and that she hoped he would meet Fasano during their visit.

Last week a top attorney predicted that the court would rule in favour of equal marriage, citing Justice Roberts’ decision last year to uphold President Obama’s health care reforms. He said it showed ”the court’s willingness to take a careful look at issues and not just conform to some people’s view of where they’re going to come out.”

Last week a 12-year-old in California wrote a letter to Justice Roberts, urging him to strike down Proposition 8. The adopted boy Daniel had heard that Justice Roberts also has two adopted children and spoke passionately about their families being equal.

The Supreme Court will tomorrow begin to consider an appeal against The Defense of Marriage Act, urged on by President Obama and even Bill Clinton, the former President who signed DOMA into US law.

As well as the appeal on DOMA this month, the Supreme Court will also consider overturning Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage in California.