A Christian couple who said they would divorce if same-sex couples in Australia were allowed to marry might actually hit a snag with that one.
Canberra Christian advocate Nick Jensen wrote for an online news site to say that if the Australian government introduced same-sex marriage, he and his wife would be forced to divorce.
He wrote: “It raises a red flag when a government decides it is not content only having sovereignty over land, taxes and the military — but ‘words’ themselves.
“This is why we are willing to divorce. By changing the definition of marriage, ‘marriage’ will, in years to come, have an altogether different sense and purpose.”
Despite their scary threat, however, the couple would find it difficult to divorce, as the Family Law Act states that both parties have to separate and live separately for at least twelve months in order to divorce.
It is unclear whether the couple would actually live apart, but they said in their original column that they would continue to refer to each other as ‘husband’ and ‘wife’, and would still consider themselves ‘married’, despite that they would attempt to legally end their marriage.
Speaking to ABC News, family lawyer Denis Farrar said the couple would have to convince a court that they would not resume cohabitation in future.
He said: “It surprises me that any sensible person would make such a threat, because you can’t get a divorce unless you’ve been separated for 12 months,” he says
“It doesn’t sound like Mr Jensen could truthfully swear that those facts are correct. And in that case he may apply for a divorce, but he won’t get it unless he lies.”
A woman who knows the couple has. since their column was published, banned them from her wedding.
Writing for, Anne Haggar said she had attended the Jensen’s wedding ten years ago, as they had been at school together.
Efforts to legalise same-sex marriage in Australia have so far failed, however there have been increasing calls for gay and lesbian couples to have the right to get married.