Katherine Zappone

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Katherine Zappone
Senator
Incumbent
Assumed office
May 2011
Constituency Nominated by the Taoiseach
Personal details
Born (1953-11-25) 25 November 1953 (age 61)
Washington, United States
Nationality Irish
Political party Independent
Spouse(s) Ann Louise Gilligan
Alma mater Boston College,
The Catholic University of America,
University College Dublin

Katherine Zappone (born 25 November 1953) is a member of the Irish Human Rights Commission and an independent member of Seanad Éireann.[1]

Zappone was born in Washington state,[2] and educated at Boston College (PhD), The Catholic University of America (MA) and University College Dublin (MBA).[3] She and her wife, Ann Louise Gilligan, founded An Cosán which supports individuals and communities to actively engage in the process of social change through transformative education.[4] She is a former CEO of the National Women's Council of Ireland.

In November 2004, Katherine Zappone and Ann Louise Gilligan (K & AL) were granted leave by the High Court to pursue a claim to have their September 2003 Canadian marriage recognised for the filing of joint tax returns in Ireland.[5] On 23 February 2007 the "KAL" case was appealed to the Supreme Court of Ireland.[6] The case came before the Supreme Court in 2012, although returned to the High Court to challenge a different element of law.[7]

In May 2011, she was nominated by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny to the 24th Seanad,[8] having been recommended by the Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore.[9][10]

She is the first openly lesbian member of the Oireachtas and the first member in a recognised same-sex relationship.

Career[edit]

Senator Zappone is co-founder of An Cosán, Ireland's largest community education organisation located in Jobstown, with her spouse Dr Ann Louise Gilligan.[4][11] An Cosán now houses three operations; The Shanty Education and Training Centre, an adult community education centre, Rainbow House, an early childhood education and care facility, and Fledglings, a social enterprise centre. 2015 sees the 20th anniversary of The Shanty Educational Project, and from the humble beginnings of welcoming and educating women from Tallaght West to a converted garage in her family home, now over 6,000 participants have passed through its doors.[12]

The Irish Times described that An Cosán "was established by Ann Louise Gilligan and Katherine Zappone with the intention of bringing valuable community-based education to the Dublin suburb… Two years ago An Cosán attempted to track the progress of 1,500 past students and found 1,200 were employed."[13]

The 'KAL' recognition case[edit]

In November 2004 lesbian couple Katherine Zappone and Ann Louise Gilligan (K & AL) were granted leave by the Ireland's High Court to pursue a claim to have their September 2003 Vancouver marriage recognised for the filing of joint tax returns in Ireland.[14] Mr. Justice Liam McKechnie remarked that the case was significant and would embrace far-reaching issues touching many aspects of society. Lead barrister, Gerard Hogan, argued that neither the 1937 Irish constitution nor more recent tax laws specifically define marriage as between one man and one woman. Following a delay, the Government announced in April 2005 that it would contest the case on the basis of advice from the Attorney General that it would prevail. The case attracted media coverage in The Boston Globe[15] and the couple were interviewed on The Late Late Show.[16] Writing about the beginning of the case, Ciara Dwyer of The Irish Independent wrote "They were shocked that all they had saved for could go down the drain. When they first contacted the Revenue with queries, the tax officials were confused by their status. Yes, they were married -- but of the same sex. The pair thought it was time to fight for their case. "Out-f**king-rageous," says Katherine."[17]

The case was heard in October 2006[18] and in the judgment[19] was delivered on 14 December 2006.[20] Ms. Justice Dunne found that although a "living document", the Irish constitution had always meant for marriage to be between a man and a woman, that the definitions used in the Civil Registration Act of 2004 was an expression of the current attitudes of the state and that she could find no reason to change that. Further, she found that the constitution did not violate the plaintiffs' rights under European law. The judgment did say, however, that the topic is very much in the news and that there were undoubtedly difficulties and hardships for same-sex and unmarried heterosexual couples and that

"It is to be hoped that the legislative changes to ameliorate these difficulties will not be long in coming. Ultimately, it is for the legislature to determine the extent to which such changes should be made."

Of note, the Dunne judgment did not explicitly opine that same-sex marriage if agreed by the Oireachtas, would be unconstitutional. On 23 February 2007 the case was appealed to the Supreme Court.[21] The case came before the Supreme Court in 2012,[22] although returned to the High Court to challenge different elements of law, specifically the Civil Registration Act of 2004 and Civil Partnership Act of 2010.[7]

Political career[edit]

Zappone is an independent member of Seanad Éireann, and a member of the Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality.[23]

In December 2014, she voted against the Water Services Bill, and spoke about the "people’s right to water in a fair, affordable, efficient and effective manner".[24] She also took part in a protest in Tallaght opposing the government's handling of water charges, at which she "noted that some were not opposed to water charge but had serious concerns about the way in which they were being implemented and the speed at which they were being rolled out",[25] and said "said there was public anger about the mistakes made relating to Irish Water".[26][27]

Zappone has spoken about the housing problem in South Dublin, highlighting that "there were 173 people homeless in the South Dublin County Council area. She said “either the Government analyses of these problems are wrong or incomplete or the political ideologies that direct its solutions are insipid, vacuous of original vision or simply outdated”."[28]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dr. Katherine Zappone". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 29 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "Ann and Katherine say it loud". Irish Independent. 19 October 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  3. ^ Dwyer, Ciara (19 October 2008). "Ann and Katherine say it loud". Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "An Cosan Governance". AnCosan.com. Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Launch of the Gilligan/Zappone tax case". RTÉ News. 9 November 2004. 
  6. ^ "Lesbian couple take case to Supreme Court". RTÉ News. 23 February 2007. 
  7. ^ a b "Fresh Marriage Equality Challenge for High Court". Marriage Equality. 6 June 2012. 
  8. ^ Edwards, Elaine (20 May 2011). "McAleese appointed to Seanad". The Irish Times. 
  9. ^ "Gilmore announces Seanad nominee recommendations". Labour.ie. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 
  10. ^ "Katherine Zappone". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  11. ^ Phelan, Angela (10 November 2007). "Stars pay tribute to the late Joan O'Hara". Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  12. ^ "The Shanty History". Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  13. ^ Hilliard, Mark (15 November 2014). "The Irish Times". Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  14. ^ "Launch of the Gilligan/Zappone tax case". RTÉ News. 9 November 2004. 
  15. ^ same_sex_couples_lawsuit_a_test_of_tolerance_in_ireland "Report on the Gilligan/Zapponne case". The Boston Globe. 30 December 2005. [dead link]
  16. ^ "Interview with Ann-Louise Gilligan/Katherine Zapponne". RTE TV. 10 March 2006. 
  17. ^ Dwyer, Ciara (19 November 2008). "Ann and Katherine say it loud". Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  18. ^ "Landmark case by lesbian couple under way". RTÉ News. 3 October 2006. 
  19. ^ KalCase.org (2006). "Judgment of the Case of Ann-Louise Gilligan and Katherine Zapponne" (DOC). Archived from the original on 6 January 2007. Retrieved 4 December 2009. 
  20. ^ "Lesbian couple lose marriage recognition case.". RTÉ News. 14 December 2006. 
  21. ^ "Lesbian couple take case to Supreme Court". RTÉ News. 23 February 2007. 
  22. ^ "Gay couple in Supreme Court over right to wed". The Irish Times. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2012. 
  23. ^ "Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality - Membership". oireachtas.ie. Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  24. ^ O'Halloran, Marie (18 December 2014). "Government gets comfortable Seanad majority on water Bill". The Irish Times. Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  25. ^ Duncan, Pamela; Griffen, Dan (1 November 2014). "Dublin centre and suburbs bring tens of thousands onto street". The Irish Times. Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  26. ^ O'Regan, Michael (5 November 2014). "Bacik says Senators did not guillotine water Bill". The Irish Times. Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  27. ^ Heaney, Michael (8 November 2014). "Radio: Astute questioning brings Irish Water debate to boiling point". The Irish Times. Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  28. ^ O'Halloran, Marie (3 December 2014). "More than 160 people sleep ‘rough ’ in shadow of Leinster House". The Irish Times. Retrieved 17 January 2015. 

External links[edit]