Politics got personal for one Australian parliament member on Monday, December 4.
Tim Wilson, a member of the Liberal Party, delivered an impassioned speech at the House of Representatives following the country’s recent vote in favor of same-sex marriage. “In my first speech, I defined our bond by the ring that sits on both of our left hands,” Wilson expressed as he directed the floor’s attention to a band on his ring finger. “And that they are the answer to the questions we cannot ask. So… there’s only one thing left to do: Ryan Patrick Bolger, will you marry me?”
Bolger, who was there to support Wilson, grinned from his seat and responded, “Yes.”
The deputy speaker of the house, Rob Mitchell, then chimed in and said, “Congratulations. Well done, mate.”
“There’s only one thing left to do… will you marry me?”
An Australian lawmaker proposed to his long-term partner in parliament weeks after the country voted in favor of same-sex marriage. pic.twitter.com/l60hGYdIUt
— NBC News (@NBCNews) December 4, 2017
Wilson’s now-viral proposal was used to raise awareness to another powerful political point—why the country should pass the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill of 2017. “There’s no point pretending that this isn’t deeply personal,” Wilson acknowledged.
He also shared portions from his personal journey leading up to finding his partner. “Like so many others at 18, I confronted the choice before me about whether I should live my life honestly or not at all. I still remember my thoughts at that crucial moment: if you give in, they win,” Wilson said. “I suspect many people find understanding these journeys difficult. 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.”
Bolger later added on social media, “Well… That was a surprise!”
Watch the moment above.