In 2015, Nick Jensen pledged to divorce his wife, Sarah, if same-sex marriage was legalized in Australia.NickJensen/Facebook
In a piece for Canberra City Times, Jensen wrote, in part, that although he and his wife had recently celebrated their 10-year anniversary and hoped to have more children together, they would divorce (albeit in a nontraditional sense of the word):
So, the decision to divorce is not one we’ve taken lightly. And certainly, it’s not one that many will readily understand. And that’s because it’s not a traditional divorce.
You see, after our divorce, we’ll continue to live together, hopefully for another 50 years. And, God willing, we’ll have more children. We’ll also continue to refer to each other as “husband” and “wife” and consider ourselves married by the Church and before God.
So why do this? It will certainly complicate our lives as we try to explain our marital status on the sidelines during Saturday sport. The reason, however, is that, as Christians, we believe marriage is not a human invention.
Our view is that marriage is a fundamental order of creation. Part of God’s intimate story for human history. 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 recognises God’s involvement or authority in it.
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 argued Australia was seeking to change the meaning of marriage, and therefore, he and his wife did not want to be part of the new definition:
If our federal parliament votes to change the timeless and organic definition of marriage later on this year, it will have moved against the fundamental and foundational building block of Australian society and, indeed, human culture everywhere.
But if this is no longer the case, then we no longer wish to be associated with this new definition. Marriage is sacred and what is truly “marriage” will only ever be what it has always been.
As News.com.au reports, Jensen’s public promise sparked a firestorm of controversy, with as many as 100,000 people joining a Facebook event called: “Celebrating Nick and Sarah Jensen’s divorce.”
On December 7, Australia’s Parliament voted to legalize same-sex marriage, with only four members in opposition of the bill, reports CNN. Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said of the bill before the final vote:
“This is Australia: fair, diverse, loving and filled with respect for everyone. This is a great day, it belongs to every Australian.”
Two years since his contentious statements, many have wondered if Jensen would make good on his promise to divorce his wife in the wake of the historic vote.
“My previous public comments regarding civil divorce never envisaged me separating from my wife, but rather our marriage from the state.
The legislation currently makes it untenable for us to do this under the law. The point we were highlighting and that still stands however is the fact that a redefinition of marriage changes the agreement under which we were originally married.
We will be making no further comment.”
And there you have it.