Australian Lawmaker Proposes to Partner on Parliament Floor During Gay Marriage Debate

Liberal MP Tim Wilson celebrates the results of the same-sex marriage survey on Nov. 15 2017 in Canberra Australia

Liberal MP Tim Wilson celebrates the results of the same-sex marriage survey on Nov. 15 2017 in Canberra Australia

You've had to tolerate the most because you've had to put up with me.

"Update: We've dug through Hansard and @timwilsoncomau appears to be the first ever Member to propose on the floor of the House", it tweeted.

Mr Bolger, who was sitting in the public gallery, responded swiftly with a "yes" as the floor erupted in applause, and house speaker Rob Mitchell added: "That was a "yes", a resounding "yes".

Said Wilson: "The person I have to thank most is my partner Ryan".

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A gay Australian MP proposed to his long-term partner during a debate on legalising same-sex marriage.

Wilson said the couple considered themselves engaged, and that wearing rings on their left hands were their answers to "a question that they once could not ask".

"Congratulations. Well done, mate", he said.

"I am looking forward to attending the marriage of my sister, Christine, to her partner Virginia some time early in the new year".

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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 cross-party bill passed 43-12, without any changes.

The bill was introduced 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. His proposal came at the end of a speech urging his colleagues to adopt the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms Bill) of 2017.

"We must not fail to recognise that there is honest, heartfelt anxiety about the bill's impact on religious freedom", the prime minister said, according to the AP.

Alex Greenwich of the Equality Campaign said: "The senate has acted on the mandate that the Australian people delivered and have voted overwhelmingly for fairness and equality".

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Passage of the bill will make Australia the 26th nation to legalize same-sex marriage, a watershed for a country in which some states considered homosexual activity illegal until 1997.

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