Gay Australian Parliament member proposes to partner during same-sex marriage bill speech

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An openly gay Australian lawmaker made history Monday when he proposed to his partner during a final debate on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

“This debate has been the soundtrack to our relationship,” member of Parliament Tim Wilson said during a speech posted on Twitter.

A Buzzfeed reporter noted on Twitter that Wilson’s marriage proposal to longtime partner Ryan Bolger is the first to take place on the House floor.

Last week, after 20 previous attempts, the bill also marked history when it became the first marriage equality bill to pass either house of federal parliament, The Guardian reported. The cross-party bill passed 43-12, without any changes. It’s expected to clear the House of Representatives by the end of the week, according to The New York Times.

Wilson said the couple considered themselves engaged, and that wearing rings on their left hands were their answers to “a question that they once could not ask.”

“So there’s only one thing left to do,” Wilson said during his speech.

He then looked over to Bolger: “Ryan Patrick Bolger, will you marry me?”

Bolger said, “yes.”

Deputy Speaker Rob Mitchell congratulated the couple and had it noted in the record, that Bolger answered with “a resounding yes.”

In a voluntary postal survey in November, 61.6 percent of participants approved changing the law to allow gay couples to marry, The Guardian reported.

In all, 7,817,247 people voted in favor, and 4,873,987 voted against it. Nearly 80 percent of voters participated in the survey.



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