Australia’s long road to marriage equality is almost at an end, with the bill to legalise same-sex marriage set to be passed in the House of Representatives early this week.
But there’s already cause for high emotion in the House, after an Australian politician proposed to his partner while speaking on the bill on Monday.
Liberal MP Tim Wilson, while discussing the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill, took the opportunity to tearfully propose to his partner, Ryan Bolger, who was sitting in the public gallery.
“With the indulgence of the Speaker, the person I have to thank most is my partner Ryan. You’ve had to tolerate more than most because you had to put up with me — trust me,” said Wilson.
“This debate has been the soundtrack of our relationship. We both know this issue isn’t the reason we got involved in politics — give us tax reform any day. But in my first speech, I defined out bond by the ring that sits on both of our left hands and they are the answer to the questions we cannot ask.
“So, there’s only one thing left to do. Ryan Patrick Bolger, will you marry me?”
After noting Bolger’s “resounding yes” in the Hansard, Australia’s official parliamentary transcript, Deputy Speaker Rob Mitchell offered up a “well done, mate.”
South Australian senator Sarah Hansen-Young was among a host of politicians, journalists and the public to congratulate Wilson on Twitter.
Regardless of political affiliation, that was a ballsy SSM speech. Congrats to you both
— Ric (@chromecastings) December 4, 2017
Bolger soon posted on Instagram afterwards, too.
Australians voted overwhelmingly for legalising same-sex marriage in a postal survey on the matter, with 61.6 percent of those who voted ticking “Yes” for marriage equality.
After passing in the Senate on Nov. 29, the bill for marriage equality will be debated from Monday in the House of Representatives. Then, if both the House and the Senate pass the bill in the same form, it’ll be off to the Governor-General for royal assent. Then, 28 days after royal assent, same-sex marriage will officially be legal in Australia.