With another cohort of attractive people against the backdrop of a picturesque destination, this season of “Bachelor in Paradise” may have started out like any other, but it ended with a history-making proposal.
Demi Burnett and Kristian Haggerty got engaged on the reality dating show’s season six finale, which aired Tuesday night. The two women were the first same-sex couple to do so in the “Bachelor” franchise’s 17-year run.
This isn’t the first time the pair surprised viewers on the show, which is a spinoff of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” and brings together contestants who didn’t find love on either of those shows for another chance to meet a life partner.
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Burnett, an interior designer who first appeared on the 23rd season of “The Bachelor,” was dating a fellow “Bachelor in Paradise” contestant, Derek Peth, earlier in the season, before revealing she had been dating a woman unaffiliated with the franchise prior to filming. Haggerty, an ordained minister, came to Mexico to surprise Burnett, who identifies as sexually fluid, and the two pursued a relationship.
"'Bachelor in Paradise’s’ inclusion of Demi Burnett’s coming out story and her journey to accepting her queer identity is groundbreaking for the series,” Anthony Ramos, the head of talent at the LGBTQ media advocacy group GLAAD, said in an email to NBC News. “Tens of millions of people around the world watch ’The Bachelor’ and ‘The Bachelorette’ franchises and this move to include a same-sex relationship in an honest fashion has the power to upend preconceived notions of LGBTQ people like Demi who are attracted to more than one gender.”