Maurice Williamson's gay marriage speech earns him invite to appear on Ellen

19/04/2013

By Duncan Wilson  

National MP Maurice Williamson has told of his new-found fame following his 'epic' speech during Wednesday's marriage equality debate.

The speech has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times since being uploaded to YouTube, and being shared on US sites such as Huffington Post and Gawker. "I feel a little bit like 'Gangnam Style' now – what am I going to do for an encore?" he asked TV3's Firstline this morning.

Williamson also revealed how the public eye had given him the Twitter jitters, saying "I can hardly tweet, 'There's a meeting at the Howick Community Board this Friday night,' and get the same response." That said, he has since tweeted a thank you for the response to his speech, calling it "overwhelming".

The attention the speech has received has led to huge US talk show Ellen giving him a nod and requesting he appear on the show. Unfortunately, the MP for Auckland's Pakuranga electorate says he has had to decline.

"They want to pay for me to go, and ministers are not allowed to have anyone pay for you, so I can't go," he explained.

He also told how a New York newspaper labelled him "one of New Zealand's only openly gay MPs", which had his wife asking questions. "My wife wanted to know whether the New York Times knew something more than I did," he joked.

Despite his National Party allegiance, MP Maurice Williamson has a history of taking a liberal stance on votes in the house. Historically, he has voted for weekend trading, prostitution reform and wine in supermarkets.

"I might be quite a strong right-winger when it comes to economics, but I'm very liberal on the social policy side."

Watch MP Maurice Williamson on TV3's Firstline here:

source: data archive