New Zealand MP Maurice Williamson’s “gay rainbow” speech has been voted the quote of the year. Massey University has conducted a Quote of the Year competition, and the Pakuranga MP’s hilarious speech in defence of gay marriage has beaten other popular lines by Lorde and Man Booker prize winner Eleanor Catton.
Mr Williamson delivered his impassioned speech during the third marriage equality bill reading in the Parliament in April to support the same-sex marriage bill. His four-minute speech had over one and a half million views on YouTube, and was recognised by international celebrities, such as Stephen Fry and Ellen DeGeneres.
But what made his speech so appealing is its “irreverence,” said Dr Heather Kavan, speech-writing specialist at the university’s School of Communication, Journalism, and Marketing.
“Several people commented on international social media that, in the countries they came from, no politician would have the courage to make fun of a priest in a televised parliamentary speech.”
The politician’s hilarious but heartfelt speech, which became known as the “gay rainbow speech,” took 38 per cent of the votes, beating Lorde’s rising international pop star Lorde’s tongue-in-cheek look at her popularity, as well as Kim Dotcom and Prime Minister John Key’s traded barbs.
Coming in at second place is a quote from an anonymous source, which stood out from the rest because “it was funny and most people can relate to having a frustrating experience with a government department,” Dr Kavan explained.
In 2012, Social Development Minister Paula Bennett’s three-word jibe at Labour MP Jacinda Ardern took home the prize for the best quote of the year.
The short and no-so sweet “Zip it, sweetie” was the clear winner, taking 57 per cent of the total vote.
The best quotes of the year 2013:
1. “One of the messages that I had was that this bill was the cause of our drought. Well, in the Pakuranga electorate this morning it was pouringwith rain. We had the most enormous big gay rainbow across my electorate,” Mr Williamson in his speech to Parliament supporting the gay marriage law.
2. “The GCSB, the only government department that will actually listen to you,” unknown origin but repeated on social media.
3. “What didn’t he know and when didn’t he know it?” Winston Peters querying John Key’s knowledge of the Parliamentary Service’s actions. (tied)
3. “I’m not a spreadsheet with hair,” Lorde (tied)
5. “Why are you going red, Prime Minister?” Kim Dotcom at the Parliamentary enquiry into the GCSB spying on New Zealand residents.
“I’m not, why are you sweating?” Key’s reply to Dotcom.
6. “Male writers tend to get asked what they think and women what they feel,” Eleanor Catton
7. “If there was a dickhead that night, it was me,” MP Aaron Gilmore reflecting on how he got intoxicated and called a waiter a ‘dickhead’ at the Heritage Hotel in Hamner Springs.
8. “In New Zealand, nobody takes you seriously unless you can make them yam,” author James McNeish at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival (tied)
8. “That little ball of fluff you own is a natural born killer,” Gareth Morgan’s Cats to Go campaign Web site (tied)
10. “He’s an extraordinarily lucky cat,” Massey University veterinary surgeon Dr Jonathan Bray after removing a crossbow bolt from the head of Wainuiomata cat Moomoo.
Hear Mr Williamson’s speech in entirety:
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