MP proposes to his boyfriend in Parliament


In a first for the Australian Parliament – and quite possibly Parliament in general – a proposal of marriage was issued from the floor by a member of Parliament.

What makes this proposal even more significant is that it comes at a time where Australian politicians are grappling with the issue of same-sex marriage.

As Liberal MP Tim Wilson neared the end of his speech in Australia's House of Representatives, he looked up to the public gallery where his long-time partner was sitting.

"There's only one thing left to do," Wilson said.

"Ryan Patrick Bolger, will you marry me?" he asked, choking up slightly.

The answer came back quick and loud: "Yes!"

The couple, from Melbourne, have been together for years and have considered themselves fiances.

The reality of actually being able to get married gets even closer, as the debate surrounding same-sex marriage in the land Down Under hits the home straight of parliamentary debate.

"I take great pride in being able to say at every single occasion I stood up and defended our institutions, traditions and freedoms ahead of the politics of the day," Wilson said.

"Some took a stop-change-at-all-costs approach, and the full costs now come with it. That was their choice – not those seeking change, and not mine. My conscience is clear," he added.

During his speech, Wilson shared of his "haunting doubt" while struggling with his sexuality as a teenager and his decision at the age of 18 to "not give in" to the stigma around homosexuality.

"This bill rams a stake into the heart of that stigma and its legacy," he declared.

The bill, introduced by LGBTI ally and long-time gay rights Liberal Party activist, Warren Entsch on Monday, aims to legalize same marriage and make lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex Australians "full citizens for the first time", Wilson said.

The bill was supported by other gay Liberal MPs, including Trent Zimmerman and Trevor Evans during Monday's debate.

It is scheduled to be debated by Wednesday or Thursday and is expected to be passed without much difficulty.