Maurice Williamson’s speech for Same-Sex Marriage

I am Lee from IMS.

I would like to follow on the same topic as my colleague, Hong, who wrote about the application for designated activity for same-sex marriage.


Maurice Williamson gave a speech known as the “Big Gay Rainbow Speech” in 2013.

It has been 8 years, and surprisingly this speech has become a hot topic now in Japan.

This speech is impressive in terms of way of presenting, the technique of the speech making people laugh and softening the tension of opponents, and yet bringing the quintessential argument.


Why after 8 years, in Japan, his speech is now getting attention?


Recently news about granting status of residence was published in the Yomiuri Shinbun Online (17 May, 2021).

What is the point of this news?

From 2013 to 2020, the Immigration Bureau granted the status of residence to 93 cases of same-sex couples. However the status was not granted as dependent, but instead as “Designated Activity”.

Although there have been cases granting a status of residence as a “Designated Activity” for same-sex marriages, this has been only granted to the couples of whose both countries legally recognise same-sex marriages. Therefore, if one of couples is Japanese, since Japan has not recognised a same-sex marriage, the couple is not able to apply for that status.

Logically, if same-sex marriage is recognised, then the couple could ask for status of residence as dependent.

However, this may not happen in the near future.

Instead, as a way out of resolving this problem, Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act might be revised first.


Let us see which will come first.


We might need someone who proposes a new bill, giving a speech like Maurice Williamson:

“[A]ll 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. […]This bill is fantastic for the people it affects, but for the rest of us, life will go on.”


Going back to the blog of Hong, as he mentioned, IMS had received inquiries about the application for the status of residence of “Designated Activity” in various categories and dealt with them.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for the application.