As the Australian House of Representatives began debating a bill to legalize same-sex marriage Monday morning, Liberal MP Tim Wilson delivered a passionate speech thanking his longtime partner, Ryan Bolger, for his support.
Or at least that’s how the speech started began it started as a speech. But it turned into something else entirely: At the end of his remarks, Wilson proposed — and Bolger, seated in the gallery above, enthusiastically accepted.
“In my first speech, I defined our bond by the ring that sits on both of our left hands,” Wilson said on the floor of the Australian House, as he visibly became emotional.
Australians voted overwhelmingly in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. As CNN reported in November, 61% of the country voted “yes” on same-sex marriage and 38% voted against it.
The results of the national postal survey launched victory celebrations among advocates for same-sex marriage across the country. The Australian Senate passed a same-sex marriage bill last week, Australia’s ABC reported.
Same-sex marriage legislation is expected to pass the House of Representatives “easily,” ABC reported, and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has urged the government to achieve marriage equality by Christmas.
Wilson and Bolger, a teacher, have been engaged for nine years, ABC reported, and they may soon be able to legally marry in their home country. After Bolger accepted Wilson’s proposal, applause broke out on the Australian House floor.