Views & Voices

A gay dad’s letter to the Australian couple who threaten divorce if marriage equality is realized

Sarah and Nick Jensen

Sarah and Nick Jensen

Sarah and Nick Jensen

Sarah and Nick Jensen

Something one learns as a parent is that children are often not rational in their behavior. When something happens that is not to their liking, they will strike out in a variety of fashions, many of which do not line up to a logical agenda of self-interest.

Part of the challenge of parenting, in such situations, is to show them how by reacting differently they can make the situation better, not just for themselves, but for others.

Conservatives worldwide apparently need such a parental voice at times to help them see the same thing.

A year and a half ago a young man in Utah proclaimed he would starve to death if Utah allowed same sex marriages to take place. I wrote a letter to him in an effort to show him that his actions were not heroic, they were immature. Same sex marriage became legal in Utah, and he avoided starvation.

Now a couple in Australia is doing their own version of a kid rant over same sex marriage. 

Nick and Sarah Jensen have declared that should Australia recognize same-sex marriages, they will get a divorce.

Nick states they married “as a fundamental order of creation, part of God’s intimate story for human history, man and woman, for the sake of children, faithful and for life. And so, if later on in the year the state does go ahead and changes the definition of marriage and changes the terms of that contract then we can no longer partake in that new definition unfortunately.”

He speaks of a “contract” that they had with the state which would guarantee marriage defined as being only between a man and a woman forever.

Of course, no such contract exists.

As a dad, this scenario is all too familiar. My sons were both adopted through foster care and are only four months apart in age. We call them “almost twins” reflecting that in many ways, they have achieved a bond that I have only seen in biologically born twins.

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My son Jesse has always been the one to lead in their game playing. When they were about 6-years-old, Jesse would create card games to play. After a while, Jason would become very frustrated and I would have to intercede. It was not difficult to see the cause of their conflict — the cards and rules of the game were literally stacked against Jason.

As they were explained to me, I could see that the rules would only lead to the point where Jesse would win.

So I made him change the rules. As soon as that happened, Jesse, who is a bright kid, could see that things were not exclusive to him anymore and he immediately….quit. “I don’t want to play anymore,” he would bellow, and mind-bogglingly declare, “It’s not FAIR.”

The Jensens are having a similar meltdown.  They see that the rules which favor only them are changing, and therefore, they want to — quit. I have written them a letter.

Read it here

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