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New Zealand Parliament rocked with laughter as MP pokes fun at anti-gay marriage zealots

New Zealand Parliament rocked with laughter as MP pokes fun at anti-gay marriage zealots

THERE was laughter, cheering and singing in New Zealand’s Parliament yesterday when MPs voted for gay marriage.

The laughter was provoked by irreverent Pakuranga MP Maurice Williamson who mercilessly took the piss out of Christian conservatives who opposed an amendment to the 1955 Marriage Act that would allow same-sex couples to marry.

Williamson, who said he thought Deuteronomy “was a cat out of the musical Cats” began his speech  by saying that among “fire and brimstone” warnings he received was one from a reverend in his local electorate who said there would be a “gay onslaught” if the equality measure was passed.

We are really struggling to know what the ‘gay onslaught’ will look like.We don’t know whether it will come along the Pakuranga highway with a series of troops, or whether it will be a gas that flows in over the electorate.

He said he also had a Catholic priest tell him that he was supporting a “unnatural act”. Roars of laughter came after Williamson said:

I found that quite interesting coming from someone who has taken an oath of celibacy for his whole life.

He revealed that he had also received a letter warning that he would burn in the fires of hell for all eternity.

This was a bad mistake as I have a degree in physics.Using the thermodynamic laws of physics, I put in my body weight and humidity and so on, assumed the furnace to be 5,000 degrees and calculated I will last 2.1 seconds. That’s hardly eternity.

Williamson said that he found some of the bullying tactics of those opposing gay marriage “really evil”, but acknowledged that there were legitimate concerns. Addressing these, he said:

All we are doing with this bill is allowing two people who love each other to have that love recognised by way of marriage. That is all we are doing. We are not declaring nuclear war on a foreign state.We are not bringing in a virus that could wipe out our agriculture. We are allowing two people who love each other to have that recognised, and I can’t see anything wrong with that for love nor money.

Williamson went on to give a watertight guarantee that:

The sun will still rise tomorrow. Your teenage daughter will still argue back at you as if she knows everything. Your mortgage will not grow. You will not have skin diseases or rashes or toads in your bed. The world will just carry on.

He revealed that one letter he received claimed that the bill was the cause of New Zealand’s drought.

Well, anyone following my Twitter account will know that in Pakuranga it was pouring with rain this morning and we had the most enormous big gay rainbow across my electorate. It has to be a sign, sir. If you are a believer, it certainly IS a sign.

And he concluded, for those who had concerns about the bill, with a quote from Deuteronomy, Chapter 1, v 29:

Be ye not afraid.

When the bill was passed onlookers in the public gallery and some lawmakers celebrated the result by breaking into the Maori love song Pokarekare Ana.

21 Responses to “New Zealand Parliament rocked with laughter as MP pokes fun at anti-gay marriage zealots”

  1. The Woggler says:

    Where has this guy been all this time? He’s fucking brilliant.

  2. Ivan says:

    I’d like to add the words of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the then Prime Minister of Spain, when that country passed legislation for same-sex marriage:

    “We are not legislating for people far away and not known to us. We are enlarging the opportunity for happiness to our neighbours, our co-workers, our friends and our families. At the same time we are making a more decent society, because a decent society is one that does not humiliate it’s members.

    Today, society answers to a group of people who, over many years, have been humiliated, whose rights have been ignored, whose dignity has been offended and whose liberty has been oppressed. Today, society grants them the respect they deserve, recognises their rights, restores their dignity, affirms their identity and restores their liberty.

    It is true they are a minority but their triumph is everyone’s triumph. It is also the triumph of those who oppose this law, even though they do not know this yet, because it is a triumph of liberty. Their victory makes all of us, even those who opposed the law, better people because it makes our society better.

    There is no danger to the institution of marriage but precisely the opposite. The law enhances and respects marriage. Conscious that some people are in profound disagreement, I wish to express that this law will generate no evil. Its only consequence will be avoidance of the senseless suffering of human beings.”

    Inspiring stuff.

  3. K Scott says:

    I must say, I’m proud of my local MP (yes, it’s Williamson.) The guy has a bit of a reputation here for opening his mouth without thinking. Like his joke involving Shi’ites and Sunnis.

    Keep in mind too, he’s from a right-wing party.

  4. AgentCormac says:

    Bloody brilliant! I’d vote for Williamson any time.

  5. ZombieHunter says:

    Awesome I’d happily buy this guy a pint :D

    Why can’t we have cool intellegent and funny politicians over here :(

  6. Broga says:

    What a brilliant speech. And with its wit and science (I loved the bit about hell) exposed the sheer awefulness of the self serving and gutless crap the House of Commons spews out. Imagine! A speech from a politician with point, which is entertaining and humane, and reveals him to to a mature and decent human being.

  7. Angela_K says:

    What a wonderful man is this Mr Williamson; I’ve never heard such an excellent speech from a Politician. Mr Cameron take note and get off your backside to make equal marriage law here too.

  8. Barry Duke says:

    For the record, Williamson’s first joke was about the weather: “how it was sunni in the morning, and shiite in the afternoon”.

    The second was aimed at both Kiwis and Muslims, saying Kiwis get stoned and commit adultery and Muslims commit adultery and then get stoned.

    See http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2010/09/apology_demanded_for_jokes.html

    NZ Muslims were “very upset” by his “intolerant” remarks.

  9. Broga says:

    To paraphrase P.G. Wodehouse, “It isn’t difficult to distinguish between an upset Muslim and a ray of sunshine.” What is so offensive is the ultra sensitivity of Muslims, or at least many Muslims, to the merest hint of ridicule while at the same time being infamous for their readiness to kill those who happen to differ from their beliefs.

    What is sickeningly offensive is not the joke about being stoned, which was a witty play on words, but the fact that women are being stoned for real in some Muslim countries. Their ire should be directed towards countries like Iraq where this is happening instead of attempting, in the most crass way, to censor New Zealand politician.

  10. Broga says:

    To paraphrase P.G. Wodehouse, “It isn’t difficult to distinguish between an upset Muslim and a ray of sunshine.” What is so offensive is the ultra sensitivity of Muslims, or at least many Muslims, to the merest hint of ridicule while at the same time being infamous for their readiness to kill those who happen to differ from their beliefs.

    What is sickeningly offensive is not the joke about being stoned, which was a witty play on words, but the fact that women are being stoned for real in some Muslim countries. Their ire should be directed towards countries like Iraq where this is happening instead of attempting, in the most crass way, to censor a New Zealand politician.

  11. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    Have you seen this? After the vote was announced, first off a round of applause and then they burst into song. I can’t imagine this happening here in the UK.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DW4DXOAXF8U

  12. Matt Westwood says:

    The trouble is, any politician showing an ounce of humanity in this country, by telling a joke, by letting his hair down, by losing his temper, etc, is ensured by the newspapers to be completely unelectable ever after.

  13. charlie says:

    Amazing isn’t it? A politician who actually thinks and lets the world know that he does. Every country needs more like this man.

  14. Stonyground says:

    “NZ Muslims were “very upset” by his “intolerant” remarks.”

    Of course they were, being very upset is what they do. It would be too much to expect that they would laugh about it and fire back a good humoured joke in return. It is interesting that those who take religion way too seriously have problems with sex, which is one of the most pleasurable aspects of the human experience. Laughter must surely run a close second, and the miserable bastards have a problem with that as well. If only we could get through to them that there is no Heaven and that they only get one life, maybe then they would get it.

  15. Broga says:

    @Stonyground: I think the New Zealand politician said he found it “interesting” that a Roman Catholic priest who said same sex marriage was unatural had taken a life long vow of celibacy. I don’t think RC priests appreciate irony. Of course, as we now know, many are not celibate. Unfortuneately, their sex is achieved by using children, vulnerable and innocent, to satisfy their perversions.

  16. tony e says:

    I’ll be shamelessly stealing his “Deuteronomy was a cat out of the musical Cats” and using it.

  17. Tony Terry says:

    Hat tip there!
    Maurice Williamson has absolutely nailed it in that speech – I wonder if our GOP friends in the USA would enjoy it (as well as the Westboro Baptist Church of course)? Perhaps they should all be tweeted a link to this site.
    Very well done NZ – 13 down, only about 180 to go.

    Tony (happily married hetro, but never threated by the idea of homosexual marriage)

  18. lynda says:

    I am so proud of Maurice Williamson for putting the whole thing in perspective. Everything that exists has been around for a long time it is arrogant to presume it hasn’t. I’ve seen male horses and male dogs having sex with other males of their species so why not the human species?. And we the humans do a darn sight more damage in the world to everything else eg. the enviroment why should we presume we know all the answers.

  19. Stoked says:

    I want to share the link from another beautiful speech heard in the 2nd read of this Bill from MP Chris Auchinvole, also a National MP. Chris has been a Lay Minister for the Presbyterian church also. His speech is beautifully eloquent – creating a very positive point of discussion on social networks here in NZ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyPB6bQsZwA . I wish he didn’t have to skip his last few pages due to the time restrictions – I would have loved to have heard more from him! (P.S. The reference to “internalising a complicated situation” relates to a brilliant drink-driving ad)

  20. Don says:

    And in NZ he counts a conservative. Lucky country.