Sarah and Nick Jensen plan to divorce if same-sex marriage comes to Australia (Pic: Facebook)
A heterosexual married couple’s bizarre plan to divorce in protest if same-sex marriage becomes legal in Australia has backfired and will be celebrated by tens of thousands of people.
More than 170,000 people have RSVPd to a tongue-in-cheek Facebook event page created to “celebrate the divorce of Nick & Sarah Jensen.”
In a June 10 editorial in Citynews.com.au, Nick Jensen, from Canberra, wrote that although he and his wife have just celebrated their ten year anniversary and are very much in love they could be getting divorced later this year.
He explained that, “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 went on to say that if same-sex marriage becomes a reality in Australia, as many expect it to soon, “then we no longer wish to be associated with this new definition [of marriage].”
The Facebook page and its supporters have warmly welcomed the couple’s decision to divorce.
“We sure hope there won’t be any backing out on their behalf as hundreds upon hundreds of gays and gay rights supporters come to rejoice in the parting ways of these narrow minded citizens which so many of us are ashamed to call Canberrans,” states the page.
It’s tentatively listed the divorce date as 1 September, but noted: “Date and location to be announced, but hopefully in the not too distant future. (Sep 1st just a placeholder for now, but who knows!)”
The page has been inundated with support, including many same-sex couples, and straight allies, posting pictures and stories of their marriages and relationships.
While Australia is widely viewed as a gay-friendly nation, gay and lesbian couples continue to be denied the right to marriage.
Ahead of plans to introduce same-sex marriage bills in the federal Parliament, Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s government, which has opposed marriage equality, is under growing pressure to allow a “free vote” among MPs on the issue.