Marriage Referendum

Ireland is going to the polls today to decide whether or not marriage is for everybody. It’s apparently the first time in the world that the question of marriage equality has been put to a national vote, so frankly, it’s going to be a huge fecking embarrassment if it fails.

I voted at about 11:30 this morning. The polling station said turnout was excellent so far. Last night in Dublin I walked by half a dozen people inside a block wearing YES! buttons, and a friend who works in city centre said this morning it seems like every other person, maybe even more than every other person, was wearing a yes badge.

Uber is volunteering free cab rides to and from the polls. The airlines have been adding flights–apparently there were 18 more flights than usual coming into Dublin last night, because thousands of ex-pats are coming home to vote, as Irish law says you can’t vote unless you’re on Irish soil. I’ve seen tweets from so many places. Berlin. Abu Dhabi. Nairobi. Sydney. Toronto. San Francisco. London. Bangkok. New York. Barcelona. Ethiopia. Geneva. There’s a ‪#‎hometovote‬ tag trending world-wide on Twitter (some of the best are collected here), as is ‪#‎YesVote‬, which means the whole world is literally talking about this today.

The #hometovote tag is wonderful, and I was getting sniffly over it while sitting in the café waiting to collect Henry from preschool. One of the dads walked by and said, “Oh no! Are you sick again?” as I blew my nose, and I had to confess, with a faint degree of embarrassment, that no, I was just getting emotional over the marriage referendum.

“I voted yes,” he said. “Everyone I know except one old couple in Offaly is voting yes.”

Everybody I know is voting yes, too, except one misguided mother of a friend. I hope we are in fact the majority, and not a bubble beyond which we cannot see.

I want it to be a landslide victory for equality. I think it may be a narrow one. I’m afraid we’ll lose, but that hardly bears thinking about.

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