A few days ago I stumbled across this article wherein a straight man, Nick Jensen, says that he will divorce his wife of 10 years if the Australian government passes a marriage equality bill that allows homosexual couples to legally marry. I couldn’t and still really can’t believe that this story and this man exist – it’s all just so preposterous. It’s the kind of thing a very young, very spoiled child would do. It’s like breaking your toy because a kid you hate has the same toy. It’s refusing to eat your favorite dessert because your sister gets to eat it. It’s childish.
While Christians are free to believe whatever narrow-minded, bigoted nonsense they want, they cannot use those beliefs to prevent other people from living their lives. This has been an issue that Christians across the world have tried to force with increasing frequency lately, and it’s utterly ridiculous. Everyone has the right to live their own lives in the manner they think is best – provided that it doesn’t hurt others. And gay/queer couples marrying hurts no one. It doesn’t invalidate another person’s marriage. It doesn’t put stress or new obligations on another person’s marriage. It doesn’t mean one less straight couple can marry. It just means that gay/queer people are finally getting access to the civil rights they always should have had.
Furthermore, from a religious standpoint it just doesn’t make sense. If, as this couple believes, marriage is not a man-made institution but one decreed by and validated by God, then whatever the state decides is irrelevant. The state cannot change God’s “true” intention no matter how many laws it passes, so if you truly believe that God doesn’t want homosexuals to marry then it doesn’t matter.
Finally, it is an incredibly shitty and incredibly selfish act because this man basically wants the government to pick and choose who deserves rights. He’s saying that only a finite amount of people can have rights and he deserves to have them because he has a really old book in his corner (He doesn’t actually, but this is what he thinks.). He’s trying to hold another person’s rights hostage by issuing an ultimatum: either the gays can’t marry or the straights will divorce. It’s an act of terrorism.
I don’t think this threat will get him anywhere (except maybe Internet famous) – the Australian government has no reason to change its mind because of one crackpot citizen. But it’s so sad and so unbelievable that a person would try to guilt a governing body in this way and would try to make the queer community responsible for his divorce. The queer community already has enough to deal with without the addition of guilt at ending someone’s marriage. I hope that Australia does pass marriage equality and when the time comes to divorce, Nick Jensen backs off and realizes that his relationship with his wife is more important than his bigotry and hate. And if he doesn’t, I hope he’ll at least shut up so that the queer community can finally enjoy their civil rights in peace.