It’s not every day that you are invited to celebrate someone’s divorce! But that is the case for everyone who supports marriage equality.
Last month, an anti-gay marriage couple from Canberra vowed to get divorced as a protest if gay marriage was legalised in Australia.
Nick Jensen wrote an op-ed for the Canberra City News in which he claimed that he and his wife Sarah would “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 attribute his beliefs to the definition of marriage as a “union of a man and a woman before a community in the sight of God”.
In response to these claims, Jesse Mount created a Facebook group for people who will celebrate the Jensen’s divorce by having a massive party once marriage equality becomes a reality.
“I actually had the idea to the create the event while I was at work one day after reading their article,” Mount told The Huffington Post.
“I thought, if they are getting a divorce, it would mean same-sex marriage is legalised and so we’d all be celebrating anyway – we might as well celebrate their divorce!
“I thought that seeing their article on the front page of the publication would have such a negative effect towards marriage equality and what we’ve been fighting for and that hopefully protesting their decision would offset the bad press.”
Jensen told news.com.au he knew of a number of couples planning to legally divorce should the definition of marriage be changed to recognise same-sex couples.
He said his decision to go public with his controversial views was to draw attention to the possibility of many couples wanting to “get out of marriage completely” as a consequence of gay marriage.
The Canberra father-of-two has worked as a director with the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) and says the group supports his view.
The ACL’s managing director Lyle Shelton, who is publicly against same-sex marriage, told news.com.au he believed Jensen had raised important issues, and that he himself would consider divorce for the same reason.
“I would very much consider seriously what Nick’s saying,” he said.
Since his views were published on Wednesday, Jensen has copped a torrent of criticism, with many labelling his decision “disgusting” and “bigoted”.
The Facebook group currently has more than 180,000 members who have RSVP-ed for the party.