Katherine Alexandra Zappone (25 November 1953) is an American-Irish Independent politician who has served as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs since May 2016. She has been a Teachta Dála (TD) since 2016, currently for the Dublin South-West constituency. She was a Senator from 2011 to 2016, upon being Nominated by the Taoiseach.
Zappone was one of the most prominent advocates of gay marriage in Ireland. After the referendum legalised gay marriages she proposed to her wife live on Irish TV: 'Today in this new Ireland, Ann Louise Gilligan, will you marry me?' The couple, who met at Boston College and already were married legally in Canada in 2003, sued Ireland unsuccessfully in 2006 to have their marriage recognized as valid.
Children's Minister Katherine Zappone believes abortions should be more widely available. [She] believes that only offering abortions in cases of incest, rape and fatal foetal abnormality would' do nothing at all for most women in Ireland".
Zappone is openly gay and is Ireland’s first openly lesbian minister. A high profile campaigner for same sex marriage in the Republic of Ireland last year, she was appointed the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs by Enda Kenny.
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