YONKERS - Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney spoke exclusively with News 12 about his engagement to long-time partner Randy Florke.

Maloney will be the second member of Congress to legally marry a same-sex partner.

They have been together for 21 years and have three adopted children. Maloney says they wanted to wait to get married until their rights as an openly gay couple were the same as everyone else.

Florke proposed to Maloney on Christmas Day after giving him a suitcase. "I said, I know this gift is really obvious, but it comes with a proposal," said Florke. "Will you travel with me forever and marry me?"

The couple says they decided to go public in the hope that their lives and love will offer inspiration to others as the fight for equality continues.

They are planning on an early-summer wedding. Afterward, they will shift their focus to Maloney's re-election campaign against Republican Nan Hayworth.

Same-sex marriage is legal in 17 states, including New York. A Supreme Court ruling last summer recognized those marriages on a federal level.