More than 160,000 people have reportedly confirmed they will attend a party to celebrate the divorce of a Christian couple who said they would break-up if same-sex marriage was legalised in Australia.
Nick and Sarah Jenson made headlines around the world last week after promising to end their 10-year marriage if Canberra legislates in favour of equal marriage. Mr Jensen had argued the "sacred" nature of the institution would be fatally threatened by legally broadening its definition.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the couple enjoy a healthy marriage and had no plans to separate, other than in protest of same-sex marriage. The Australian parliament is set to vote on the legislation by the end of the year.
A Facebook listing for the party to celebrate the divorce of Australian couple Nick and Sarah Jensen
Mr Jensen outlined the details of his protest in an opinion piece for the Canberra CityNews last Wednesday. He wrote: "My wife and I, as a matter of conscience, refuse to recognise the government's regulation of marriage if its definition includes the solemnisation of same sex couples."
Since then a Facebook event has been created calling for the couple's potential divorce to be celebrated.
Event creator Jesse Mount invites "everyone who supports marriage equality to come celebrate the divorce of Nick & Sarah Jensen!"
He goes on to say: "They have decided that being married together in a country where it's legal for a man and a man to marry, or a woman and a woman, is just too horrible. They'd much rather be divorced and I think we should all support and celebrate in their decision when the date finally does come.
"We sure hope there won't be any backing out on their behalf as hundreds upon hundreds of gays and gay rights supporters come to rejoice in the parting ways of these narrow minded citizens which so many of us are ashamed to call Canberrans."
The date and location for the event is yet to be announced, although Mr Mount writes it will take place "hopefully in the not too distant future. (Sep 1st just a placeholder for now, but who knows!)".
According to Pinknews 160,000 have said they will attend the event.
In a further blow to the couple, a woman who said she had attended the Jensen's wedding has since banned them from attending hers.
Anne Haggar told news.com.au: “I don’t want you anywhere near my wedding. You and your views are not welcome, because you’re right — the institution we’re marrying into isn’t the same one you think you’re in."
Speaking to Fairfax Media last week, Mr Jensen called marriage 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." He added: "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."
Mr Jensen argued that same-sex marriage would have "serious consequences for children who would grow up without a mother or father.”
He also questioned where legalisation would lead, opining: "When it [marriage] becomes detached to the child's right to a mother and a father and the sacred institution that it is, then suddenly it becomes meaningless and those boundaries can't be put back in place."
However, Mr Jensen said his position did not stem from bigotry.
"This has been a big decision for my wife and I," he noted.
"Some will accuse of us being bigoted or too hateful to share. But this couldn’t be further from our intentions. The truth is, ‘marriage’ is simply too important. It is a sacred institution, ordained by God… any attempt to change the definition of marriage by law is not something in which we are able to partake.”