Joan Freeman’s daughter has revealed that she is gay and in a relationship with another woman as she denied any connection between her mother and the conservative pressure-group, the Iona Institute.
When rumours circulating the presidential candidate’s involvement with the homophobic institute first emerged, Aislinne claimed that she wanted to come out to the media, but Freeman insisted that she did not want to “use” her family members in her campaign.
Aislinne told reporters at Joan Freeman’s campaign trail event at the Pavilion in Swords that her mother wanted to “protect” her family, but that she and her partner are “coming out and saying it now”.
Aislinne fiercely denied any claims that her mother is connected to the Iona Institute, citing her own experiences in coming out:
“Do you think she’d be involved with them, given their views? That’s not the kind of person she is. She is the most tolerant person I know.”
Aislinne revealed that when she came out as gay, her mother was very supportive:
“She told me that she loves me and that all she wanted was for me to be happy.”
Speculation surrounding Freeman’s connection with the right-wing organisation emerged after the Pieta House founder revealed she voted No in the referendum to Repeal the Eighth Amendment, stating that she had “worked her whole life to preserve life”. The senator did say, however, that if elected as President of Ireland she would sign in legislation to introduce abortion services.
Moreover, Freeman’s niece is Maria Steen, a prominent member of the Iona Institute who unsuccessfully campaigned for the No side in both the Marriage Equality Referendum and the referendum to Repeal the Eighth Amendment.
Freeman is one of six candidates in the running for the Presidential Election. Ireland will go to the polling booth this Friday, October 26. A recent poll by The Sunday Times and Behaviour and Attitudes suggests President Michael D. Higgins is maintaining a substantial lead of 69%, followed by Sean Gallagher at 11%, Liadh Ní Riada at 7% and Joan Freeman at 6%.
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