Divorcing For Marriage


pic by Michael Coghlan

I once knew a prudent man who would never buy a brand new car. He preferred them a year or two old. Still just as good, he would say, but so much cheaper. He would only buy practical family cars from major manufacturers. Just as good as the fancy Europeans, he’d say, but much better value.

Then one day, when he had paid off his mortgage, the kids had left home, and his well-paid senior job was secure, feeling very proud of himself, rather daring (and secretly, a bit naughty), he traded in the Ford for a brand new Volvo. “Wonderful car,” he said, “Built like a tank, and run for ever!”

About a year later, the Sikh family across the street bought a Volvo, too. Second hand, of course, only one year old, showroom condition, perfect for chauffeuring around the various aunties, of whom the family seemed to have an inexhaustible supply.

“Terrific cars, these,” boomed the patriarch, “Built like a tank and run for ever.”

The next day the prudent man traded in his Volvo for a Ford. It just wasn’t the same, now those immigrants had one too.

I was reminded of that prudent man yesterday, when a Christian man, an employee of the Australian Christian Lobby, no less, announced that if same-sex couples were allowed to marry, he and his wife would divorce.

The guy in question, Nick Jensen, Director of the Lachlan Macquarie Institute, points out that they won’t actually lose anything by this move:

Our decision is not as extreme as it may seem. We will still benefit from the same tax and legal provisions of the state’s “de facto” laws.

Never mind that marriage is supposed to be for life, and divorce is a sin.

Never mind that they will bear false witness to obtain a divorce.

Never mind that, following the divorce, they will have children out of wedlock.

After our divorce, we’ll continue to live together, hopefully for another 50 years. And, God willing, we’ll have more children. We’ll also continue to refer to each other as “husband” and “wife” and consider ourselves married by the Church and before God.

These sins are as nothing, compared to remaining in a legal, government recognised marriage. You see, it’s just not the same any more when gays can have one too.

Many Christians, like my wife and me, as well as people of other faiths, will simply reject the need for the State to recognise their marriage. Instead they will look to the authority of their church, mosque or temple.

Which begs the question: if they’re prepared to forgo civil marriage if they can’t have it all to themselves, what are they making such a fuss about? If they’re content with de facto status and see it as no big deal, why are they fighting? By all means let them leave marriage to the civil authorities and “look to the authority of their church, mosque or temple” for validation of their de facto relationship, and welcome.

Game over. And everyone’s happy.  #MarriageEquality4Christmas

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)