Noticed this on my facebook feed and its caused me to sit and think for a minute. Basically, there's apparently a decent number of people, particularly young people, of Irish citizenship who live abroad returning to Ireland to take part in the gay marriage referendum. I can't find any guesses on the exact number of people doing it (the number of expats able to do it is 60,000 according to the Guardian but obviously there's not that many people doing it) but there are a lot more photos of it doing the rounds than I expected. I thought it was another thing where people were sticking hashtags on their pages and then going back to whatever they were doing with their lives and feeling good about themselves but no, there's actually people following through and doing it. And I'm not sure how I feel about it. On one hand I strongly support gay marriage (or "marriage" as I'd prefer to call it) so I'm happy there's going to be more people voting that way. But that's me being biased. Looking at it objectively, I don't know if I agree with expats being allowed to vote in a referendum to effect a country they're no longer living in. I should say there's a limit of being out of the country 18 months to be eligible so its possible there's students studying abroad and things like that doing it, in which case it is a decision that effects them and that's cool. But what if they've actually moved abroad? You could say that as they're Irish and its their home nation they have a right to a say in its affairs. Or you could say they don't live there anymore so why should they be influencing a decision that will only effect other people and not themselves. And I have no idea which of those two arguments I find more compelling. There's also a wider moral stance to take on it and say the decision might not effect them, but they have an opportunity to pro-actively impact a decision on equality (I also kind of want a thread to discuss the fact that in this day and age its perfectly normal for people to say "no I don't support equality" and its sort of alright to say that so long as its about gay people) and force progressive change. They might not live there, but in terms of changing society as a whole and having an obligation to your fellow man and all that jazz, they're doing the right thing regardless of the impact on them directly. Which is another argument I feel myself leaning towards especially given how much I bitch about people circle jerking with hashtag campaigns and clicktivism without actually getting off their butt to do anything meaningful. Anyway, I've rambled enough. As I say I'm conflicted on where I stand with this. So, thoughts?