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People In Japan Are Calling This Kiwi Politician "Uncle" For His Speech About Gay Marriage

"I am not gay but your speech changed the way I see the world completely."

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This video of former New Zealand National MP Maurice Williamson is currently going super viral in Japan.

2013年にニュージーランドで同性婚を認める法案が出来たとき、賛成票を投じた1人のおじさん議員が議会で語った内容。 当時も世界中で賞賛されたスピーチ。知らない若い人に向けて。

A version of Williamson’s speech with Japanese subtitles has been retweeted over 130,000 times. It was posted in response to comments made by Wataru Takeshita of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), who was criticized this week for saying same-sex couples should not attend banquets at the Imperial Palace hosted by the emperor and empress because "it doesn't fit with Japanese traditions." Takeshita later apologized after public outcry.

Following Takeshita's comments, Twitter user @bulldog_noh8 shared the subtitled video of Williamson's "big gay rainbow" speech from the final reading of New Zealand's same-sex marriage legislation in 2013.

"When New Zealand passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, this is what one uncle, the assembly member who voted for the bill, said. The speech was praised around the world even back then," @bulldog_noh8 wrote. "Dedicating this to young people who have not heard it yet."

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He then promises those opposed to the legislation that the bill "is fantastic for the people it affects, but for the rest of us, life will go on".

Twitter: @Bulldog_noh8

"The sun will still rise tomorrow, your teenage daughter will still argue back with you as if she knows everything, your mortgage will not grow, you will not have skin diseases or rashes or toads in your beard," he says.

He concludes the speech by addressing those who claimed the same-sex marriage bill was the cause of the drought at the time by telling them about a "big gay rainbow" in his electorate that morning following the rain.

A photo taken from my Electorate Office this morning. A Gay Rainbow? A Sign none the less. All iswell with the world

People in Japan were really moved by "Uncle" Williamson's speech.

"I'm crying."

@Bulldog_noh8 単なる同性婚擁護演説ではない、それ以上の力がある演説。ユーモアも忘れず、説得力があり、すばらしくて涙が出ました。「あなたの日常は何も変わりはしない」。本当に。

"This is not a simple speech advocating same-sex marriage. It's a speech that has more power than that. He doesn't forget humor and he's convincing; it was wonderful that it made me cry. 'Life will go on.' So true."

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「(この法案が可決されたとしても)当事者にとっては素晴らしいことだが、我々には昨日と変わらぬ明日が来るだけだ。だから恐れることはない」 明確にしてシンプル、誰も貶めず、それでいて心を打つ名スピーチですね。 https://t.co/YmbGtE5dyQ

"'This bill is fantastic for the people it affects, but for the rest of us, life will go on.' It's a famous speech that's clear and simple, doesn't belittle anyone, and yet touches your heart."

They started tweeting Williamson to thank him for his words.

@williamson_nz Sir, thank you so much for your words.

@williamson_nz Hello, I'm from Japan. I watched below tweet, and followed you. I and many of Japanese impressed by… https://t.co/eSvGBBIa7l

A lot of people felt it changed their perspective.

@williamson_nz @Bulldog_noh8 Hi from Japan, I happened to watch your speech and I’m so thankful for this luck. I am… https://t.co/hW8VIrouNw

@williamson_nz Hello. I'm from Japan. I also watched your speech in 2013. I was really really impressed with your s… https://t.co/3f2bO4XBJV

And hoped it would help bring about change in Japan.

@williamson_nz Your speech in 2013 was amazing!! I hope that Japanese will learn from you 😌

@williamson_nz Thank you for the moving speech. Japan also needs to change, for our future peace. I believe that th… https://t.co/PTPD5hPkBn

Williamson tweeted this morning that he was "delighted" to see such a huge increase of new followers, especially from Japan, and that he was proud of the association as his oldest son is half Japanese.

I am so happy to see such a huge increase in the number of new followers in the last few hours - many of them comin… https://t.co/9rAAJbp7w7

BuzzFeed News has reached out to Williamson for further comment.

バズフィード・ジャパン ニュース記者

Contact Eimi Yamamitsu at Eimi.Yamamitsu@buzzfeed.com.

Kassy Cho is a reporter with BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Kassy Cho at kassy.cho@buzzfeed.com.

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