Warren Entsch fittingly opened the same-sex marriage debate in the Australian House of Representatives this morning but it was his Liberal Party colleague Tim Wilson who stole the show, proposing to his boyfriend at the end of his speech.
Wilson, the Member for Goldstein in Melbourne has been a strong advocate for the Government’s push for same-sex marriage.
At the end of an emotional speech, Wilson turned to his partner Ryan, who was seated in Parliament’s gallery.
“In my first speech I defined our bond by the ring that sits on both of our left hands,” Mr Wilson said.
“They are the answer to the question we cannot ask.
“So there’s only one thing left to do; Ryan Patrick Bolger, will you marry me?”
Bolger said yes and the speaker reminded the note takers to make sure Hansard (official notes of parliament’s proceedings) recorded that he said Yes.
More than 70 members of parliament are listed to speak this week regarding the same-sex marriage bill. Hours will be extended on Tuesday night to allow for the speeches in the hope that on Wednesday morning the bill can be put to the vote for the first time.
Warren Entsch spoke of the long road the bill has taken to this stage and the fact he was a lone voice for many years on the Government’s side.
Entsch noted he was often described as a “fiercely heterosexual” Queenslander who has been working to remove “legal and financial discrimination within the gay and transgender community”.
“Who is it to say that another person should be denied equal rights or that their love is in some way less because of who they love?” he said.
Along with Dean Smith, if this bill passes, these two men will go down in history as the conservative MP’s that made this law a reality.