The Republic of Ireland may be making history by having the public vote to approve gay marriage or not. An estimated three million people are set to go out and vote. This is a huge step considering Ireland was still criminalizing homosexuality until 1993. A “yes” vote in the majority will make Ireland the first country to legalize gay marriage through a nationwide referendum. Of course, those who are registered to vote can vote for the referendum. #VoteYes has been trending on Twitter to support gay rights as well.

The pre-election polls have showed a strong favor for same sex marriage. There are still those who do not wish to have same sex marriage, especially since Ireland has always been an overtly Catholic country. Pat Storey, Ireland’s first female bishop, explained her reasoning behind her “no” vote: “I believe that civil partnerships give gay people clear civil rights and recognition as people committed to one another, and I fully endorse this. However, I do not think this requires the redefinition of marriage to uphold it, and I do not believe marriage should be redefined.”

Civil partnership has been legal in Ireland, but the problem with this is that marriage is protected by the constitution, and civil partnerships are not. So, down the road, if legislators want to take away civil partnership, they will have that right because it is not protected under the constitution.

USA Today reported that a taxi driver voted yes, and when asked why he said, “Sometimes making these difficult decisions is as simple as listening to what your gut says.” His gut told him to vote yes for gay marriage. Same sex marriage is legal in 19 countries.

Photo: Cathal Mcnaughton / Reuters