New Zealand became a far more open and accepting place this morning after its Parliament voted 77 to 44 to allow gay marriage. The proceedings featured a slew of speeches on the contentious issue, but the one embedded above, delivered by Maurice Williamson has been attracting the lion’s share of the attention.
In just over four minutes, Williamson answers a number of complaints thrown at him by the people he represents before ultimately endorsing gay marriage and reminding the straight world the sun will still come up in the morning. From his tone of voice to his word choice to his story about the draught washed away by rain and a “big gay rainbow”, his speech has really hit the mark for a lot of people, and it’s easy to see why.
According to The Huffington Post, members of Parliament were largely told to vote for what they felt was right rather than strictly by party. That atmosphere created a very strange environment in which somewhat conservative Prime Minister John Key aligned himself with the Labour Party, but when it comes to human rights, unlikely alliances are often struck.
New Zealand has had civil unions since 2005, but this new law will strengthen the rights of gay couples, allowing them to legally adopt children and to be recognized in other places outside the country. It will also send a message to the rest of the world that New Zealand stands for civil rights and universal acceptance above all else.
The calls for gay marriage in the United States have been getting louder and louder over the past few years, but thus far, a federal law hasn’t come together, mirroring the situation in many other largely Christian nations.
Pop Blend’s sincerest congratulations go out to the Kiwis.