Ireland made history this weekend by becoming the first country to legalize gay marriage through popular vote.
The referendum's results were announced at a Dublin Castle press conference on Saturday, revealing that 1,201,607 people, or 62.1 percent, voting "yes" and 734,300 people voting "no," according to CNN. Only one of the country's 43 constituencies didn't pass the referendum due to a majority of "no" votes.
Riona Fhlanghaile, an elections official, said voter turnout in the Catholic Church was over 60 percent.
Gay marriage has been a unique topic in Ireland, as homosexuals didn't face discrimination in the country until the 1990s. It wasn't until 2010 that Ireland debuted same-sex "civil partnerships," which didn't provide the protections and recognition that marriage did.
Analysts and campaigners believe the overwhelming "yes" votes resulted from supporters using Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media to get younger voters involved, as well as Irish gay people telling their stories, TIME reported.
While gay marriage is legal in 19 other countries, Ireland is the first to approve the practice in its constitution with a popular vote. Leo Varadkar, a Cabinet Minister who came out as the Republic of Ireland's first gay minister earlier this year, said this makes the country "a beacon, a light to the rest of the world, of liberty and equality. So it's a very proud day to be Irish."
"People from the LGBT community in Ireland are a minority. But with our parents, our families, or friends and co-workers and colleagues, we're a majority," Varadkar added.
Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, said the church "really needs to do a reality check" if young people were responsible for the referendum passing, BBC News reported.
"I appreciate how gay and lesbian men and women feel on this day, that they feel this is something that is enriching the way they live," Martin told Irish broadcaster RTE. "I think it is a social revolution."
With this vote, marriages between two people of the same sex will now receive the same constitutional protection and benefits as those between a man and a woman, such as recognition as a family.
Groups in opposition of gay marriage, most of which intended to protect the tradition of the Catholic Church and families, took to social media to congratulate those who supported the referendum, with one conservative Catholic think tank tweeting "Congratulations to the Yes side. Well done. #MarRef," CNN reported.
"This is their day, and they should enjoy it," said the group Mothers and Fathers Matter. "Though at times this campaign was unpleasant for people on all sides, nobody who involves themselves in a campaign does so with anything but the good of their country at heart. There is no better way to resolve difference than the way we are using today."
Prime Minister Enda Kenney said before the vote that the referendum presented an opportunity for Ireland to "create history." After the results were revealed on Saturday, he said the votes "disclosed who we are - a generous, compassionate, bold and joyful people."