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An Australian Politician Just Became the First to Propose to His Partner in Parliament

December 4, 2017, 10:38 AM UTC

An Australian politician used a speech in Parliament to ask his long-term partner to marry him. And his partner said yes.

Last month, Australians voted overwhelmingly in favor of same-sex marriage. On Monday, legislation to enact the change was introduced to the Lower House of Parliament—and in the ensuing debate, Liberal parliamentarian Tim Wilson stood up and asked school teacher Ryan Bolger to marry him.

According to local reports, Wilson and Bolger have actually been unofficially engaged for the last nine years, so this was a reaffirmation of their intention to wed, now that the possibility of that occurring is finally in sight.

“This debate has been the soundtrack to our relationship,” Wilson told Bolger, his voice cracking. “We both know this issue isn’t the reason we got involved in politics. Give us tax reform any day. But 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?”

Bolger, who was in the chamber, emphatically said yes, and the speaker of the house congratulated the couple.

If the legislation passes, Australia will become the 26th country in the world to allow people of the same sex to marry one another. In some Australian states, homosexual activity was illegal as recently as 1997.

According to the House of Representatives, this is the first time an Australian politician has proposed in Parliament.