Australian MP proposes to partner in parliament
Canberra, Dec 4 Australian MP Tim Wilson on Monday proposed to his long-term partner Ryan Bolger in parliament shortly after the same-sex marriage legislation was introduced to the Lower House.
The proposal is believed to be the first of its kind in the Lower House of Parliament, and was greeted with applause from all sides of politics and the public gallery, reports the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
Wilson has been engaged to Bolger, a school teacher, for nine years and reaffirmed his proposal during a speech on the issue.
Bolger was present in the chamber for the proposal and responded with a clear “yes”.
“In my first speech I defined our bond by the ring that sits on both of our left hands.
“They are the answer to the question we cannot ask.
“So there’s only one thing left to do; Ryan Patrick Bolger, will you marry me?” Wilson said as he proposed.
The legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives earlier in the day by Liberal MP Warren Entsch, a long-time advocate for same-sex marriage in the Coalition pushed for a free vote on the issue in August, the ABC reported.
It is expected to be approved before Christmas. The bill received the Senate’s approval last week.
More than 61 per cent of Australians expressed support for the legalisation of same-sex marriage in a non-binding postal vote convened by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in fulfilment of one of his election promises.
The result of the vote paved the way to the project to reform the Marriage Act of 1961, which was modified in 2004 to specify that marriage is exclusive between a woman and a man.
In December 2013, the High Court overturned a law allowing same-sex weddings in the Australian Capital Territory on the grounds that it was in breach of the 1961 Federal Marriage Act.
Similar legislative proposals have also failed in the states of Tasmania and New South Wales.