Australia same-sex marriage: MP proposes in parliament
An Australian MP has proposed to his partner during a parliamentary debate on legalising same-sex marriage.
Tim Wilson became tearful as he again asked Ryan Bolger, who was sitting in the gallery, to marry him. The pair have been engaged for nine years.
The bill to legalise same-sex marriage was introduced into the House of Representatives on Monday, after sailing through the Senate last week.
It is thought to be the first proposal during a sitting, local media said.
“In my first speech, I defined our bond by the ring that sits on both of our left hands. They [the rings] are the answer to the question we cannot ask,” Mr Wilson said.
“So there is only one thing left to do. Ryan Patrick Bolger, will you marry me?”
The question drew cheers and applause, before Mr Bolger responded with a resounding “yes” – a reply noted in the parliamentary transcript.
- Senator’s tearful marriage speech
- Australians decisively back gay marriage
- ‘I’m trapped between my culture and sexuality’
The government MP said the protracted national debate on same-sex marriage had been the “soundtrack” to their relationship.
Earlier, Mr Wilson spoke about his own experience growing up as a gay teenager and struggling with a stigma surrounding homosexuality.
“This bill rams a stake into the heart of that stigma and its legacy,” he said.
Mr Wilson is among 77 MPs who will speak on the bill. A vote is likely to happen this week unless there are significant amendments.
Conservative politicians are expected to suggest amendments to the bill, such as additional exemptions for celebrants who refuse to marry same-sex couples. The Senate rejected such amendments in its debate last week.
Last month, Australians decisively supported same-sex marriage in a national vote.