Maurice Williamson's 'gay rainbow' speech goes big in Japan

"We have the most enormous big gay rainbow across my electorate. It has to be a sign."
"We have the most enormous big gay rainbow across my electorate. It has to be a sign." Photo credit: Getty

A Kiwi MP's speech on gay marriage has gone viral - again - in Japan, bringing him in a huge surge in followers on Twitter.

Former National MP Maurice Williamson made headlines for his "big gay rainbow" speech during the final reading of same-sex marriage legislation in 2013.

In it, Mr Williamson said he'd received a message that the legislation was the cause of a drought.

"Well, if any of you follow my Twitter account, you will see that in the Pakuranga electorate this morning, it was pouring with rain - we have the most enormous big gay rainbow across my electorate," he said. "It has to be a sign."

In the speech, he said "I also had a Catholic priest tell me that I was supporting an 'unnatural act'. I found that quite interesting coming from someone who's taken an oath of celibacy for his whole life."

Mr Williams left Parliament in 2016 and is now New Zealand's Consul-General in Los Angeles.

On Sunday, he posted a thank you message to his new followers on Twitter.

"I am so happy to see such a huge increase in the number of new followers in the last few hours - many of them coming from Japan. I don't know what's driving it but I'm delighted. For the record: My oldest son Simon Kenya is half Japanese so I'm proud of the association. Welcome."

It appears Mr Williamson's post was shared in Japan, after a member of the Liberal Democratic Party said he opposed same-sex partners attending banquets at the Imperial Palace, hosted by the Emperor and Empress.

"If state guests and their partners are same-sex, I would oppose [their attendance at Imperial banquets], because such relationships do not fit Japanese traditions," LDP General Council chairman Wataru Takeshita said, according to The Japan News.

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