Why #HomeToVote matters

In case you live under a rock, or don’t have social media (which is basically the same thing) yesterday was a big day. People of Ireland were able to vote in a referendum for the legalisation of same sex marriage; this will not only make it legal, but it will also mean that Ireland’s Constitution will be amended.

This is pretty huge stuff, but that’s not even the biggest part. What has been particularly amazing about this voting day is the support that it is getting from everywhere around the world.
In the lead up to the referendum thousands of lads and lasses from all around the world (and I mean ALL around the world) were flocking back to their homeland to make sure that they could participate in the voting; and so the hashtag #HomeToVote was born. The young and old were flying, bussing, boating, training running and skipping home to have their voices heard. On top of that, over 65,000 new voters have registered to vote. Just wow!

When this referendum is passed, it will be the first country in the world to have a same-sex marriage laws passed by popular vote. This is proof that fighting the good fight and believing in something can accomplish things. This is proof of what people can do when they stand together. It has been remarkable to see so many people who have made the long and sometimes gruelling (some have travelled days) journey home to stand for a belief. They are the spirited people who are determined to make a change and do so standing together, using one voice.

Browsing through the hashtag on twitter has made my heart swell to a size that would have doctors worried. It isn’t just because this is an issue close to my [enlarged] heart; it is because this is a big step for all forms of equality. For a country where homosexual acts were only decriminalised in 1993; a country where a decade ago, being gay or lesbian would ultimately mean being ostracised from your community; for a country where young LGBTQ people would torment themselves with guilt about who they were, to now allow the same individuals the chance to vote and speak about their sense of equality and freedom is to show just how far and quickly the human race can grow.

Whatever your belief on this issue, you cant deny that this means something. This is a step for equality as a whole. For a world doesn’t discriminate against gender, race, age or sexual orientation. This is just the start, the start of a world where the gender pay gap doesn’t exist, where the colour of your skin doesn’t define you, where anyone can marry the person that they love. A world where, ultimately, you can be you.

This is a step to show the next generation that there is strength in numbers and that if you hold out, roaring loudly and consistently enough you will be heard. Something as simple as marking a box and placing it in a ballot can make change. You’re vote maters. Make it count.

And the Irish have made theirs count. With the referendum passed. Today is a big day.

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