An Australian Member of Parliament Tim Wilson became the first lawmaker to ever propose on the House Floor on Monday when he asked his partner of seven years, Ryan Bolger, to marry him during a debate on same-sex marriage.
Watch the video below!
Wilson made the proposal at the end of a speech he gave in support of the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill of 2017. The lawmaker detailed the political process that led to the legislation being created and described the social impact it could have on same-sex couples across Australia who simply want to be treated like normal citizens.
“I suspect many people find understanding these journeys difficult. It’s so paralyzing because you can’t seek help from others. The people you should be able to turn to are the ones you fear speaking to the most because the cost of rejection is so high.”
The bill is part of a push by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who is a supporter of same-sex marriage and has said that he wants to legalize same-sex marriage in Australia by Christmas. For Wilson, passing the legislation is about getting rid of the stigma surrounding same-sex relationships in Australia.
Wilson said, “There’s no point pretending that this isn’t deeply personal.” And he’s right: the emotional nature of his proposal has moved viewers around the world and likely changed a few minds in parliament, as well.
Bolger was seated in the room watching the debate. The moment made absolutely clear that the two men have dedicated themselves to the cause of equal rights for same-sex couples.
When Wilson spoke the words, ‘There’s only one thing left to do: Ryan Patrick Bolger, will you marry me?” The floor went silent. As Bolger nodded his head yes from his seat, applause broke out and lawmakers raised no objections.
The exchange was entered into the official record by the deputy speaker of the House.