While I don't know enough about Roberts, and credit the need to analyze the reality, much of what I am reading reflects the mindset of the writers, while shedding far less light on the mindset of Roberts.
Specifically, (and here I pause to emphasize that I did not vote for George Bush and could not remotely be considered a supporter) I remind all that Bush was not so bent on destroying gaydom that he didn't have openly gay high level appointees (he did), a nondiscrimination policy that continued to have sexual orientation in it (he did), or a public willingness to entertain civil union for same sex couples (he did). In that latter public willingness, he exceeded some 90% of the entire spectrum of political leadership in Indiana. Adequate? Obviously not. Embracing the far right agenda on gays? Obviously not.
I am amused that the Honorable Mr. Gary Welsh, who renders an excellent service in his blog, holds Roberts' feet to the fire for a formal affiliation with the Federalist Society, a society in which Roberts had no membership, while Gary himself HAD been a member! According to the Washington Post, Roberts was not recalled as ever attending any of the Society's meet and greets, and had only spoken to the society. Gary questions the fact that Roberts had not disabused anyone of the notion that he was member, though Roberts seems, within a day or two of the rumor gaining currency, to have rushed to do precisely that. And my friend Marla, whom I love, truly, says he is likely to be lying, when it is his integrity upon which friend and foe alike seem to agree. (I do think highly of both Gary and Marla)
The question is: What kind of a world does each of us see? My understanding of the world is that acceptance of gays increases with education and exposure. By all accounts, Roberts has a passion and an excellence in the law, which are necessary to be able to achieve the high honors at Harvard undergrad and Harvard Law with which he emerged. According to the Times, he is quoted as saying he could have argued for the other side of every case he tried, which is a lawyerly spirit that I don't think Antonin Scalia quite shares (though I could be wrong.) By all accounts, his friendships in Washington are wide-ranging, and follow no ideological or partisan path, which leads me to suspect (yet to be verified) that healthy, functional gays are not foreign animals to him.
Perhaps I am incorrect, but it seems to me that even a textualist would find the equal protection clauses and religious freedom clauses to be compellingly clear when the time comes to discuss gay marriage. Which is why the religious right HAS to fight for an amendment, whatever the make up of the court.
Bush is not up for re-election... his eyes are on history.... and while he is supported by the extreme religious right, in his adherance to nondiscrimination policy including sexual orientation, his appointment of open gays, and his willingess to entertain civil union for same sex couples, he is clearly not OF the extreme religious right. Whatever his nominee believes, no one (religious right or progressives, with whom I am more closely allied) should make the mistake of transferring to him their own views of the world. Under the circumstances, all have reason for suspicion. All have reason for hope.
For this reason, it is critical for our allies to press their questions with vigor and to pay close attention in the press to what emerges in the way of fact, rather than mere speculation, and in the hearings to the actual stated views of the nominee.