A young Australian couple has vowed to get a divorce, ending their ten year marriage, if the state decides to allow same-sex couples to legally marry.
Nick Jensen and his wife Sarah, who are happily married and have two young children together, believe changing the traditional definition of marriage to include same-sex couples threatens the sacred nature of the union and leaves the door open to polygamy.
Thus, in an effort to protest the possible legalization of same sex marriage in Australia, Jensen wrote in an article published in Canberra CityNews on Wednesday explaining why he and his wife are prepared to divorce.
"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," said Jensen, who is director of the Lachlan Macquarie Institute, which partners with the Australian Christian Lobby to offer scholarships designed to develop a Christian worldview and foster leaders in government policy.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Jensen explained that his stance is not intended to be "against any individuals... we're debating what marriage is for all people. This is a fundamental social institution and if we hold a position on that then that's something we can't help but, with our conscience, follow through on."
He added, "Ten years ago we made an agreement with the state about what marriage was, and that was that it is a fundamental order of creation and part of God's intimate story for human history, man and woman for the sake of children, faithful for life...If the state goes down the line of changing this definition and changing the terms of that contract then that Is something we can no longer partake in."
Legalizing same-sex marriage, he argued, would not only undermine "our most sacred institution, and have serious consequences for children who would grow up without a mother or father" but could also expand the definition even further.
"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," he said.
While many have criticized his views, Mr. Jensen said that many other Christians have revealed that they are also considering ending their marriage under the state if the bill is passed. He explained that their stance is primarily symbolic, however, as the couple will continue to live together and refer to one another as husband and wife.
'Hopefully we'll be able to explain to our children why we had to make this decision,' he told Daily Mail Australia.
Meanwhile, Christians in the United States are protesting the possible legalization of gay marriage in a another way: a group of pastors and other leaders have signed a petition pledging civil disobedience if a U.S. Supreme Court decision redefining marriage to include same-sex couples infringes upon their religious freedom.
"Experience and history have shown us that if the government redefines marriage to grant a legal equivalency to same-sex couples, that same government will then enforce such an action with the police power of the State. This will bring about an inevitable collision with religious freedom and conscience rights. The precedent established will leave no room for any limitation on what can constitute such a redefined notion of marriage or human sexuality. We cannot and will not allow this to occur on our watch. Religious freedom is the first freedom in the American experiment for good reason," the pledge states, in part.
Prominent signers include, Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee; Dr. James Dobson, founder of Family Talk Radio; Bishop Harry Jackson, founder of High Impact Leadership Coalition; Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America; Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary and executive editor of The Christian Post; Jerry Johnson, president and CEO of National Religious Broadcasters; and Rev. Rick Scarborough, president of Vision America Action.