A gay woman took seat in Irish government

Newly elected independent member of the Irish parliament Katherine Zappone (R) arrives with her partner Ann Louise Gilligan (L) for the first day of the Irish parliament (Dail) since the general election at Leinster house in Dublin, Ireland on March 10, 2016. The Irish parliament sits for the first time since a divisive election, with no prospect of a deal on a new government. No party has a majority in the Dail and there is no sign of a viable coalition partnership being formed after voters forced a seismic shift in politics in the Republic. / AFP / PAUL FAITH (Photo credit should read PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images)

As an independent Senator, Katherine Zappone became the face of the Yes campaign ahead of Ireland’s equal marriage referendum last year. The politician got married to her current wife Ann Louise Gilligan in Canada in 2003 – but after Ireland voted for the equality she won people’s love by re-proposing her on live TV.

The politician makes history as the first openly lesbian minister in the history of Ireland, serving a role as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. Leo Vadakar, who came out last year while serving as Minister for Health, will also serve in the new government as Minister for Social Protection.

“I hope to bring the spirit of change I shared with many others during our long campaign for marriage equality. In the election I asked people to judge me on my track record of delivering change and reducing poverty, and now I will ask people to judge my track record in Government and as a Minister.”, she stated.


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