Australia’s lawmakers were ready for a final debate on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage when a particularly important question was asked
In his speech, Tim Wilson, who is an openly gay member of Parliament with the center-right Liberal party, decided to speak up about the struggles he and his partner, Ryan Bolger, had encounter as a gay couple.
“This debate has been the soundtrack to our relationship,” he said.
Even though they considered themselves to be engaged, their rings on their left hands represented the answers to a questions that they once were not allowed to ask.
“So there’s only one thing left to do,” Mr. Wilson said, his voice choking. He turned to the public gallery, where Mr. Bolger was sitting. “Ryan Patrick Bolger, will you marry me?”
Mr. Bolger immediately broke into a large smile and his answer was loud and clear. While the entire chamber applauded the happy event, the deputy speaker, Rob Mitchell, made sure it would go down in history.
“I should let Hansard note to record that that was a ‘yes’ — a resounding yes,” Mr. Mitchell said, referring to parliament’s official record of transcripts. “Congratulations.”
The full passage of the same-sex marriage bill would make history in Australia. The bill easily passed the Senate last Wednesday without amendment.