An Australian man and his wife have announced that they will divorce if the country decides to legalize gay marriage later this year, making the shocking revelation in an op-ed written in the Canberra CityNews.
Nick and Sarah Jensen, both 33, have been married for more than 10 years, but the two — who claim they have a healthy marriage — are prepared to dissolve their legal matrimony if gay couples also earn the right to be married under the law later this year.
They'll still live together, have children and consider themselves man and wife under God, but they will ax the legal label.
"The reason has nothing to do with the state of our marriage. We were married at 21 after being high-school sweethearts for several years before that," Nick Jensen wrote. "In fact, my wife is the only woman I have ever loved, the mother of our children, my perfect match."
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The Jensens argue that they do not see marriage as a "human invention" and that the insertion of gay couples into the mix has made them reconsider the government's intervention in the institution.
"Our view is that marriage is a fundamental order of creation. Part of God’s intimate story for human history," Jensen said. "Marriage is the union of a man and a woman before a community in the sight of God. And the marriage of any couple is important to God regardless of whether that couple recognizes God’s involvement or authority in it."
He continued, "My wife and I, as a matter of conscience, refuse to recognize the government’s regulation of marriage if its definition includes the solemnization of same sex couples."
Jensen went on to offer a history lesson, noting that England began getting involved in marriage law back in 1753 in an effort to address property and inheritance issues. Initially, this arrangement helped support the family unit, but he argues that a change to allow same-sex marriage would actually move against the "foundational building blocks of Australian society" and "human culture everywhere."
"Indeed, it raises a red flag when a government decides it is not content only having sovereignty over land, taxes and the military – but 'words' themselves," Jensen wrote. "This is why we are willing to divorce. By changing the definition of marriage, 'marriage' will, in years to come, have an altogether different sense and purpose."
In the end, he said that he and his wife do not wish to be associated with the potential new definition of marriage — a decision that he said some will likely fervently disagree with.
"This has been a big decision for my wife and I. Some will accuse of us being bigoted or too hateful to share. But this couldn’t be further from our intentions," he said. "The truth is, 'marriage' is simply too important. It is a sacred institution, ordained by God."
Read more about the family's argument here.
If enacted, Australia's Marriage Amendment Bill 2015 would change "man and woman" under law to the more general term "two people," the Daily Mail reported.