This is a good speech, but I think it’s only fair to say to foreign readers that this speech in no way reflects the general tone or honesty of a speech in the New Zealand parliament. I have been reading the article Adam directed me to in the comments section of the Media post, and it fits nicely with what we have below. Misreported, soundbites reverberating around the world.
He’s been called many things over a long parliamentary career, but until now “gay icon” has never been one of them.
National MP Maurice Williamson’s jocular but impassioned speech in favour of the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill has won him praise around the world, and a YouTube clip of his performance has been watched close to 700,000 times.
Ellen DeGeneres has asked him to appear on her talk show, actor and British comedian Stephen Fry has tweeted that he wants to hug him, and one internet news site has called his defence of gay rights a “speech for the ages”.
Most bewildering of all has been the New York Times’ report that he is “one of New Zealand’s only openly gay MPs”.
The 52-year-old Pakuranga MP, who is married to Raewyn and has three adopted children, said: “I thought that was a bit surprising. It was certainly news to my wife.”