Rights / Gender
How a former Kiwi lawmaker became a Japanese LGBTQ icon

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 30 Nov 2017

How a former Kiwi lawmaker became a Japanese LGBTQ icon

Tokyo/Wellington, Nov 30 (JEN): Maurice Williamson is a former New Zealand Member of Parliament who gave a heartwarming speech about same sex marriage in 2013, but that is not why he's headlining the news in 2017. Apparently, he's a big 'gay icon' in Japan!

The speech, which won won hearts then in 2013, resurfaced and like an encore, won the LGBTQ community in Japan over.

The funny yet meaningful speech was also instrumental in New Zealand declaring same sex marriage legal, thereby becoming the first Asia-Pacific nation to do so.

The Japanese wants the same.

Though some Japanese cities recognise same sex partnership, marriage among two LGBTQ people is yet to receive the official nod.

As Williamson's video resurfaced, and struck a chord, several Japanese people have extended their gratitude to him on Twitter.

Williamson too have acknowledged the adulation and revealed his Japanese connection.

"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," he tweeted.

Replying on the tweet, an user who goes by the Twitter handle @rym_nz, said, "Watched your speech. It was the greatest speech I've ever seen and very impressive. Your speech has made so many ppl happy and definitely will make more ppl happy. I hope this speech will be spread even more in Jpn so that Jpn also makes the same decision."

@eiga_girl said, "Hi from Japan, I happened to watch your speech and I’m so thankful for this luck. I am not gay but your speech changed the way I see the world completelyI started to think more abt ppl struggling to live their lives just the way they are even today. Thank you."

Some users also used his speech as a comparison to mindsets between him and a Japanese MP.

Speaking on the issue, Wataru Takeshita, General Council Chairman of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party, angered fellow countrymen after he stated gay partners of state guests should not be allowed to dine with the Emperor or Empress of Japan.

The minister has however apologised for his comments.

@Genkideton said, "Your speech on the same sex marriage bill in 2013 in parliament went viral on twitter. Sadly inappropriate comments made by our MP on the invitation list in palace dinner, suggesting that same sex parter should be declined for invitation."

Many users hoped Japan will learn a thing or two from Williamson's 2013 speech.

@kurepinpon said, "Your speech in 2013 was amazing!!
I hope that Japanese will learn from you "

The same sentiment was echoed by a fellow user, @AxP_Ruin, who said, "Hi:) I live in japan, I watched your speech in 2013. It was amazing ! I hope Japanese people accept about it."

If Japan does amend it laws and allow same sex marriage in the future, it will join Taiwan as the other Asian nation to do so.


Images: twitter.com/williamson_nz