An Australian MP has proposed to his same-sex partner in Parliament – who said “yes” – as the chamber debated a bill to legalise gay marriage.
Tim Wilson, a Liberal MP, fought back tears as he turned to the public gallery during a speech on the same-sex marriage debate and faced his long-term partner, saying: “There’s only one thing left to do; Ryan Patrick Bolger, will you marry me?”
Mr Bolger broke into a broad smile and mouthed the word “yes”, before MPs from all sides broke into applause.
“We’ll chuck [put] that in the memoirs and in Hansard,” said Mr Wilson, who has been engaged to Mr Bolger for nine years.
Rob Mitchell, the deputy speaker, congratulated the couple and told the chamber: “We should let Hansard note to record that was a ‘yes’, a resounding ‘yes’.”
The speech came as Australia prepares to legalise same sex marriage this week following a national vote which found that 62 per cent of people supported the change and 38 per cent were against.
Legislation was last week passed by the Senate, or Upper House, leaving it to the House of Representatives to finally endorse the move.
Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s prime minister, told Parliament he was the nation’s first leader to be “consistently in support of legalising same-sex marriage”.
“Let’s be honest with each other, the threat to traditional marriage is not from gay people but a lack of loving commitment, whether found in the form of neglect, indifference, cruelty or adultery – to name just a few manifestations of that loveless desert in which too many marriages come to grief,” he said.
“Co-dependency is a good thing [and] gay people are better off together then living alone comforted only by their respective cats.”
Despite broad support in Parliament for legalising same-sex marriage, the legislation faces a final hurdle over amendments to protect religious freedoms and allow celebrants to refuse to conduct gay weddings.
Labor opposes the amendments, saying they are unnecessary and could slow the passage of the legislation.
Mr Turnbull, from the ruling conservative Liberal-National Coalition, said he would support some of the amendments, saying: “we must not fail to recognise that there is sincere heartfelt anxiety about the bill’s impact on religious freedom”.
Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/04/australian-mp-proposes-partner-same-sex-marriage-debate-parliament/