Having only known the connotations of Irish people being loud, Catholic, red haired individuals who always know where the best bar is, I’ll admit I was surprised to hear that Ireland was surprised when I open up my Twitter a few days ago to see the hashtag #IrelandVoteYes trending.

In a recent article by Hanna Ingber of The New York Times Brighid and Padraic Whyte discuss the issue of same-sex marriage and how Padraic came out to his parents thirteen years ago. Making a short video in March that went viral, the couple has been depicted, as the unheard but always present, robust support for same-sex marriage in the Catholic country.

I’ll admit, this came as a surprise, but something I am definitely supporting. Much of the news has lately been on U.S. states legalizing same-sex marriage, but never federal-scale change, like this. Being that the U.S. has pretty much been the most well-known leader in social reform, I expected that to be the U.S.’s next step. Oops. Didn’t see this one coming.

Ireland will (hopefully) be the first country to legalize same sex-marriage by a national vote, rather than through legislation or the courts.

Twenty other countries have already legalized same-sex marriage including: the Netherlands (2000), Canada (2005), Spain (2005) , Denmark (2012), Norway (2009)  Sweden( 2009), and France (2013). Not to mention Finland, which will go into effect in 2017.

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