A gay Australian lawmaker proposed to his partner in parliament during a debate over a bill to legalise same-sex marriage. Tim Wilson, a Liberal MP, fought back tears as he proposed to his partner, Ryan Bolger, who was sitting in the public gallery.
“In my first speech I defined our bond by the ring that sits on both of our left hands–that they are the answer to the questions we cannot ask,” the 37-year-old lawmaker from the ruling conservative party said.
“So there is only one thing left to do: Ryan Patrick Bolger will you marry me?” Bolger, who is reportedly engaged to Wilson for 9 years, quickly responded “yes” as the floor erupted in applause.
“That was a ‘yes’, a resounding ‘yes’,” house speaker Rob Mitchell noted for the record. “Congratulations, well done mate.”
The speaker Rob Mitchell congratulated the pair, before confirming that Mr Bolger’s response had been officially recorded in Hansard.
Earlier, Wilson spoke about his own experience growing up as a gay teenager and struggling with the stigma surrounding homosexuality.
“This bill rams a stake into the heart of that stigma and its legacy,” he said.
The speech came as Australia gears up to legalise same-sex marriage following a national vote which found that 62 percent of people supported the change and 38 percent were against it.
The Senate last week approved the bill and rejected all proposed amendments that would have increased legal protections for those who would discriminate against gay couples on religious grounds.