At a same-sex marriage debate in Australia today, Member of Parliament Tim Wilson asked perhaps the most important question: if his longtime partner Ryan Bolger, seated in the gallery, would marry him. He said yes.
Last month, 79.5 percent of voting age Australians turned out for a public referendum on the issue of same sex marriage, and a solid majority (61.6 percent) voted in favor of the legal recognition of gay and lesbian couples. Now, that decision has moved on to the Parliament for legal codification.
Wilson described Australia’s same-sex marriage debate as “the soundtrack” to his relationship with Bolger before he popped the question. His proposal came at the end of a speech urging his colleagues to adopt the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms Bill) of 2017. His impeccable timing has also made him the first lawmaker to propose on the House Floor.
After citing the important social impact this legislation would have, Wilson candidly admitted, “There’s no pretending that this isn’t deeply personal.”
Wilson also made mention of the many Australians like him who have shared the struggle to be open about their romantic relationships. “I suspect many people find understanding these journeys difficult,” he said. “It’s so paralyzing because you can’t seek help from others. The people you should be able to turn to are the ones you fear speaking to the most because the cost of rejection is so high.”
When all was said and done, the deputy speaker of the House told Wilson, “Congratulations; well done, mate.”