This former New Zealand lawmaker became an unlikely hero to Japan’s LGBT community

Maurice Williamson

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A speech by former New Zealand Member of Parliament (MP) Maurice Williamson in support of marriage equality has gone viral in Japan four years after it was delivered.

New Zealand legalized marriage equality in 2013, and during that debate Williamson made international headlines for his humorous declaration to opponents of same-sex marriage.

“All we are doing with this bill is allowing two people who love each other to have that love recognized by way of marriage,” William said. “That is all we are doing.”

“We are not declaring nuclear war on a foreign state. We are not bringing a virus in that could wipe out our agriculture sector forever,” he continued. “We are allowing two people who love each other to have that recognized, and I can’t see what’s wrong with that.”

“I give a promise to those people who are opposed to this bill right now,” he said. “‘I give you a watertight guaranteed promise: The sun will still rise tomorrow, your teenage daughter will still argue back with you as if she knows everything, your mortgage will not grow, you will not have skin diseases or rashes, or toads in your beard, sir. The world will just carry on.”

He added that one of the messages he received in opposition to the bill said it was the cause of their drought.

He then noted that it was “pouring with rain” that morning, and that there was “the most enormous big gay rainbow” across the sky.

A Twitter user in Japan posted the speech to Twitter recently, after a local politician there made a statement against allowing the same-sex partners of state guests to attend palace dinners.

Williamson notice an uptick in Twitter followers coming from Japan, but wasn’t sure why.

Twitter users from Japan quickly let him know what was up by responding to his tweet with an explanation, as well as their appreciation.

You can watch the speech in full below.

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