Gay Aussie MP proposes during marriage debate

Liberal MP Tim Wilson has proposed to his partner on the floor of federal parliament

Ryan Patrick Bolger, will you marry me?'

Not long after the SSM bill was first raised in the House of Representatives, Liberal politician Tim Wilson ensured it would be a day few would forget.

Mr Bolger beamed with a smile, and mouthed the word "yes", before the chamber broke into applause.

From the gallery, Mr Bolger said yes, with acting speaker Rob Mitchell asking for the answer to be recorded in Hansard. Liberal MP Tim Wilson was among the first to speak out in favour, with his long-time partner, Ryan Bolger, watching in the gallery. In its final hurdle, the House of Representatives may vote on the bill as early as this week.

Wilson said the couple considered themselves engaged, and that wearing rings on their left hands were their answers to "a question that they once could not ask".

After more than a decade of debate, Australians emphatically endorsed gay marriage in a recent nationwide postal vote, with some 62 percent of the 12.7 million who took part voting "yes" last month.

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'Well done mate, ' Mr Mitchell said.

The former Australian human rights commissioner delivered his speech as lawmakers prepare to legalise same sex marriage following a national vote in which almost 62 percent of citizens voted in favour of legalisation.

Mr Entsch said discussions about free speech, education, charities and tax law were important debates, but should not be conflated with same-sex marriage legislation.

Former conservative prime minister Tony Abbott, a leading voice in the "no" campaign, said he would now back the bill.

"We got here thanks to the hard work and passionate campaigning of so many people across the country who stood up for a fair go for all".

"Each and every person who has campaigned for equality, each Australian who stood up and voted YES, and, today, every Senator from every political party who voted in favour of equality and fairness. When we told others, many simply didn't know how to react", he said.

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