When same sex marriage was first mooted in federal parliament, a Christian couple, Nick and Sarah Jensen, said they would divorce in protest. They planned to have a civil divorce, but continue living together, which would make their relationship a de facto rather than a civil marriage. While marriage is covered by the Marriage Act, divorce is covered by the Family Law Act, and that states that for a divorce to happen, the parties need to have lived apart continuously for at least 12 months1. So, the Jensens may not be able to divorce. This is unfortunate for the many thousands of people who were planning to have a ‘divorce party’ in anticipation of the event2.
I seem to remember then Prime Minister John Howard, stating in front of the cameras, that allowing same-sex marriage would somehow diminish his marriage. How he suggested it would be diminished, I cannot remember, so I presume he didn’t elaborate, which is probably fortunate.
New South Wales introduced a bill for the legalisation of same sex marriage in 2013, but it was defeated in the upper house, the Legislative Council. In speaking to the bill, the Honourable Peter Primrose, said: “Marriage is not about going to bed with someone; it is about being committed enough to get up with the same person every morning. My marriage will not be diminished if other people commit to loving and caring for each other, and if this is recognised and acknowledged by the law. The only people I feel threatened by are those who email me and tell me that I am sick, wicked and bad, and that my offspring and I will suffer and burn for eternity if I support this bill”.
That about sums it up. I pity those who believe that they should use their marriage as a mode of protest, or believe it could be diminished by those they don’t like, getting married. They mustn’t think much of their marriage.