MP's new-found fame has 'gone a bit far'

National MP Maurice Williamson is coming to terms with his newfound status as the latest poster boy for gay rights, with clips from his speech in support of same-sex marriage going viral and even sparking contact from gay icon Ellen Degeneres.

The longstanding Pakuranga MP, whose Wednesday night speech made humorous references to "a big gay rainbow" over his electorate, has received accolades from around the world for his light-hearted spin on the debate.

Mr Williamson told TV3's Firstline this morning that there had even been contact from DeGeneres offering an appearance on her popular television talk show.

"There's a real problem straight away because they want to pay for me to go," Mr Williamson said.

"Ministers are not allowed to have anyone pay for you."

Irish singing star Ronan Keating had also been in touch via Twitter, offering his congratulations to Mr Williamson on his new found status.

"Everybody should take a listen to Maurice Williamson Marriage equality speech. Simply brilliant," the star tweeted.

Mr Williamson said praise had come from the United Kingdom, Australia and America after the speech.

Offers to stand in as governor in several states as well as appearances on various television shows were all in the mix, he said.

The already-married Mr Williamson said the New York Times called him one of the few "openly gay" MPs in New Zealand.

"It's gone a bit far," he said.

"My wife wanted to know whether the New York Times knew something more than I did.''


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