Irish people from around the world are traveling home Friday in record numbers to cast their vote on the nation's same-sex marriage referendum.
A historically Catholic country, Ireland only decriminalized homosexuality in 1993. Irish citizens will vote on whether to amend its 78-year-old constitution to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. The polls close at 10 p.m. local time.
Current law declares that most Irish expats are allowed to vote, but that they must travel home to do so. The groundswell of support for gay rights in Ireland, mirrored around the world, has resulted in a fantastic exodus back home — there are approximately 60,000 Irish expats eligible to vote. If social media is any indication, many of them are traveling home to show their support for gay rights in the best way possible. The #HomeToVote hashtag has gone viral, with tens of thousands of tweets broadcasting Irish people's support of equal rights for all.
If Ireland votes yes, it will become the 19th nation to legalize same-sex marriage. The whole world is smiling on Ireland, but no one is as proud of Ireland as the Irish themselves: