Earlier this month, an Australian couple threatened to divorce if same-sex marriage is legalized.
While the Stupid Part of America undoubtedly points to this as “yet another” way that gays are destroying marriage — “forcing” good, “Christian” couples to give up a pledge they made before God — it functions as just one more example of how bigotry ruins everything. However, there may be a problem with the plan…
While not a single straight couple can cite one example of a same-sex marriage having any impact on their relationship, Nick and Sarah Jensen have threatened to end their ten-year marriage in protest of marriage equality:
“Jensen told Fairfax Media that he and his wife entered into their marriage ‘as a fundamental order of creation, part of God’s intimate story for human history, man and woman, for the sake of children, faithful and for life.’
‘And so, if later on in the year the state does go ahead and changes the definition of marriage and changes the terms of that contract then we can no longer partake in that new definition unfortunately,’ he said.
Legalising same-sex marriage would undermine ‘our most sacred institution, and have serious consequences for children who would grow up without a mother or father,’ Jensen said.”
“My wife and I, as a matter of conscience, refuse to recognise the government’s regulation of marriage if its definition includes the solemnisation of same sex couples,” Jensen explained.
Jensen worries that allowing two human beings in love to marry may lead to a further expansion of the definition of marriage:
“‘Once you say that marriage is detached from children, [that it’s] just about love, then when three people come to the state and say ‘well we’re all in love,’ then the state has no grounds, except unjust discrimination, to say why they can’t get married,’ he said.
“‘When it becomes detached to the child’s right to a mother and a father and the sacred institution that it is, then suddenly it becomes meaningless and those boundaries can’t be put back in place.'”
Unfortunately for the Jensens, Australian law presents them with a bit of a speed bump in their effort to express their bigotry through good, Christian divorce.
The Family Law Act requires both parties to separate and live apart for a minimum of 12 months in order to divorce, adding costs and other issues to their desire to end their relationship over others’ ability to be happy.
The couple did not indicate if they would comply with the law and live separately, but said they would still consider themselves “married,” and would still refer to themselves as “husband” and “wife,” despite being divorced.
“Speaking to ABC News, family lawyer Denis Farrar said the couple would have to convince a court that they would not resume cohabitation in [the] future.
“He said: ‘It surprises me that any sensible person would make such a threat, because you can’t get a divorce unless you’ve been separated for 12 months,’ he says.
“‘It doesn’t sound like Mr. Jensen could truthfully swear that those facts are correct. And in that case he may apply for a divorce, but he won’t get it unless he lies.’
“A woman who knows the couple has, since their column was published, banned them from her wedding.“
A Galaxy Research poll conducted in 2009-2012 found that 64 percent of Australians support marriage equality — including 53 percent of Christians. Most of the resistance in Australian, like in America, comes from a dying demographic. About 81 percent of Australians age 18-24 are in favor of same-sex marriage. The percentage of Australians in support of marriage equality has only grown since then. A Croby Textor poll conducted more recently found that 72 percent of the country’s citizenry are in favor.
In the Australian House of Representatives, 64 are in support of marriage equality, with 59 opposed. Sixty-four remain undeclared or undecided, so a vote could go either way. In the Senate, 37 are in support, with 30 in opposition. Nine remain undecided.
Efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in Australia have thus far failed but, despite the existence of homophobic bigots like the Jensens, support is growing and hope is on the horizon.
Featured image via Daily Mail