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MP proposes to gay partner in Australian parliament during same-sex marriage debate

A gay Australian MP proposed to his partner just moments after a bill paving the way for same-sex marriage was introduced.

Tim Wilson fought back tears as he popped the question to Ryan Bolger in the country’s House of Representatives – the first time an MP had proposed on the floor of the House – and the emotional proposal was even noted for the record.

The 37-year-old lawmaker, from the ruling conservative party, thanked his fiance for enduring a marriage debate that “has been the soundtrack to our relationship”.

 MP Tim Wilson is congratulated by Senator Dean Smith after Wilson proposed to his partner Ryan Bolger during debate of the Marriage Amendment bill in Australia's House of Representatives
MP Tim Wilson is congratulated by Senator Dean Smith after his proposal

He went on to say: “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.

“So there is only one thing left to do: Ryan Patrick Bolger, will you marry me?”

Mr Bolger, who was sitting in the public gallery, quickly responded “yes” as the floor erupted in applause, and house speaker Rob Mitchell added: “That was a ‘yes’, a resounding ‘yes’. Congratulations, well done mate.”

Politicians had gathered to debate a bill to legalise same-sex marriage after 61.6% of 12.7mn voters backed the move in a national poll in November, with the upper house Senate overwhelmingly approving it last week.

The bill is expected to comfortably pass through the House of Representatives before Christmas.

Even former conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott – a leading voice of opposition to the legalisation of gay marriage – said he would back the Marriage Amendment Bill.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 15: People in the crowd celebrate as the result is announced during the Official Melbourne Postal Survey Result Announcement at the State Library of Victoria on November 15, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. Australians have voted for marriage laws to be changed to allow same-sex marriage, with the Yes vote defeating No. Despite the Yes victory, the outcome of Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey is not binding, and the process to change current laws will move to the
Australians in Melbourne celebrate the result of the national poll on same-sex marriage

He told the House that was looking forward to the marriage of his gay sister, Christine, to her partner Virginia some time in the new year.

Current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said: “This is a historic moment of inclusion, of recognition, of respect. This is a day to be especially proud that all of our friends, our colleagues, our neighbours, our brothers, our sisters, can marry the people they love.”

Mr Turnbull is committed to having same-sex marriage made legal by Christmas.

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