Nevada state Senator Kelvin Atkinson proposed marriage to his partner on Tuesday.

Atkinson publicly proposed to his partner, Sherwood Howard, during a gathering at The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada to celebrate a federal appeal court's ruling striking down Nevada's ban on gay marriage.

(Related: Appeals court strikes down Nevada, Idaho gay marriage bans.)

Atkinson was encouraged to pop the question live on television while speaking to the jubilant crowd about the couple's wedding plans.

Atkinson called Howard his confidant and best friend before adding, “So I'll say it in front of everyone: Will you marry me?”

Atkinson, who came out gay last year, said he and Howard have been dating for more than six years.

According to local sources, county clerks are expected to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples on Wednesday.