Irish lesbian minister is losing a seat because of homophobic campaign against her

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DUBLIN, IRELAND - MAY 23: Senator Katherine Zappone and her partner Ann Louise Gilligan celebrate a landslide victory of a Yes vote after a referendum on same sex marriage was won by popular ballot vote by a margin of around two-to-one at Dublin Castle on May 23, 2015 in Dublin, Ireland. Voters in the Republic of Ireland chose in favour of amending the country's constitution to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry, the first country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage through a popular vote. (Photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images)

Katherine Zappone, who is originally from the United States but has been an Irish citizen since the 1990s, became Ireland’s first openly lesbian minister in 2016. But counts from her constituency in Dublin South-West indicate that she is quite unlikely to keep her seat because campaigners use her activism against her. There are five seats in Zappone’s constituency. One of those has been won by Sinn Féin’s Seán Crowe and Colm Brophy of Fine Gael looks likely to take the second seat, RTÉ reports. Zappone is currently trailing behind in fifth place with 4,800 votes. With just four more seats to be filled, Zappone’s chances of staying in her post are sharply dropping. Zappone’s poor performance in the general election comes just days after she shared a video on social media where she said some people had created campaign against her based on a homophobic hate. “I’m very upset to hear about that,” Zappone said in the video. “Not so much for myself, but for the others who share that identity with me. I really believe that it’s important to say ‘no’ to that, and instead really give the message that my work as a lesbian, as an educator, as a politician, as a community educator, is fuelled and rooted in love,” the politician said.

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