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Gay Australian Politician Proposes During Same-Sex Marriage Debate

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Tim Wilson, a liberal member of Parliament in Australia, during a debate Monday about same-sex marriage in which he proposed to his partner, Ryan Bolger. Credit Lukas Coch/Australian Associated Press, via Reuters

SYDNEY, Australia — Lawmakers in Australia’s House of Representatives came ready on Monday for a final debate on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the country.

But one member had a particularly important question prepared: a proposal to his long-term partner.

In a speech, Tim Wilson, 37, an openly gay member of Parliament with the center-right Liberal party, spoke emotionally of the struggles he and his partner, Ryan Bolger, had encountered as a gay couple.

“This debate has been the soundtrack to our relationship,” he said.

While they already considered themselves engaged, the rings they wore on their left hands, he said, were their answers to a question that they once could not 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?”

The answer from Mr. Bolger, who broke into a smile, came loud and clear. As the chamber applauded, 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.”

Source: NYT > World

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