Tim Wilson proposes to boyfriend in Parliament during same-sex marriage debate

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Tim Wilson
Tim Wilson is the Federal Liberal Member for Goldstein. timwilsonmp.com.au

For Liberal MP Tim Wilson, there was only one thing left to do, so he made the first marriage proposal on the floor of Parliament. The reply came fast: “Yes!”

As same-sex marriage in Australia enters the final stretch of debate, Wilson popped the question to his partner Ryan Patrick Bolger on Monday. Bolger gave a quick reply from the gallery, and acting speaker Rob Mitchell reinstated his answer amid applause from all sides of politics.

Mitchell was among the first to congratulate the couple for their engagement. He said it was well done.

The Melbourne pair has been wearing rings as a sign of their commitment for years. In his speech, Wilson recalled the first time he presented a ring to Bolger. He said they were on a trip to Hamilton Island at that time.

Wilson confessed he did not know what the ring represented but wished for his boyfriend to take it as a sign of his commitment. Bolger did, and they have since considered themselves fiancés.

But the days following that trip have been “bittersweet.” Wilson said anyone who has been engaged knows that the joy is amplified when others celebrate it with the couple. But when the Melbourne pair told other people about it, many chose to be silent while one person replied, “Why bother?”

He even kept delaying an engagement party, something that Bolger had always wanted. “The truth was, I kept delaying it, perhaps wrongly, because the strong message that I took from so many people’s silence was that no one would come,” ABC News reports Wilson as saying.

Wilson was emotional as he paid tribute to his fiancé for nine years. He expressed his gratitude to Bolger for standing beside him and for his trust.

For Wilson, the same-sex marriage debate has been the soundtrack to their relationship. He thanked the people of Australia for helping them experience the joyous moment. Wilson believes that the legalisation of same-sex marriage would make gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex Australians "full citizens for the first time.”

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull earlier said, after the Yes vote in the postal survey, that it was a day “to be especially proud that all of our friends, colleagues, neighbours, brothers and sisters can marry the people they love.” Same-sex marriage legislation is expected to pass easily following a debate on proposed religious protection amendments. This could mean that for Wilson and Bolger, their long-awaited wedding day nears.

Video Souce: Facebook/Tim Wilson - Federal Liberal Member for Goldstein