In 2015 Frances introduced legislation for the holding of the Marriage Equality referendum. On May 23rd, Ireland became the first country in the world to vote in a referendum to introduce an equal right to civil marriage for same-sex couples.
Frances is TD for Dublin Mid-West, having secured over 9,000 votes in the 2016 General Election and being elected on the first count. Since 2011 Frances has served as TD for Dublin Mid-West. Between 2007 and 2011 Frances served as Leader of the Opposition in the Irish Senate; having previously served as TD for Dublin South East for ten years before that.
As an opposition Parliamentarian, Frances served in six different portfolios under three different Fine Gael leaders - John Bruton, Michael Noonan and Enda Kenny. On her first day in the Dáil Frances was appointed as Fine Gael Spokesperson on Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht and went on to serve as Spokesperson on Defence, Social Community & Family Affairs, Equality & Family Affairs, and Social Welfare. She served as Spokesperson on Health and Children while in the Senate.
Frances has served on various Dáil and Seanad committees including Justice, the Committee on the Constitution, the National and Economic Social Forum, the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation, Social Affairs and Health. Frances was a member of the Joint Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children and co-authored several Oireachtas Committee reports. She co-founded the first ever Cross Party Group on Mental Health and worked closely with Amnesty International to help break down the stigmas associated with mental health issues. Frances has campaigned strongly on mental health, special needs, social policy and equality issues and worked professionally in these areas.