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Jensen divorce protest / It’s time, says brother

My name is Soren Jensen and I strongly support Marriage Equality. My brother does not.

Soren Jensen.
Soren Jensen.
You may have been made aware in the last 24 hours of my brother, Nick Jensen, and his statement that he will seek a divorce if homosexuals are allowed to marry. He has stated a very strong position against marriage equality. While I disagree strongly with him it is also his right to do so.

Since then I have seen a passionate yet vicious response from the internet, my family and name insulted, lied about, speculation about his marriage and seen him called every name under the sun. He has chosen to make his marital status a personal target, so this is probably not unexpected. But know thy enemy and judge and attack the argument, not the man.

First let me address the man. My brother is a loving father and husband, in a beautiful supportive marriage, a man of deep religious beliefs and he lives by those truths. He is intelligent, educated, compassionate and reasoned. In our debates over this issue, and you can imagine our Christmas conversations, he has always been open to listening, to countering and to engaging in a frank and open debate on the topic.

Nick has used his democratic right of free speech to state his point, and to publicly say that if there is a change in the legislation from the government on marriage he considers this a breach of contract and his marriage agreement with the state should be annulled. He is not a loony, a religious nut or any of the many other descriptions being thrown around. Nor is he a hateful person. He is an intelligent, reasoned man making an argument and a stand on his principles and his religious truth on this issue.

But his statement has hurt people. He is actively involved in the Australian Christian Lobby and this is their moment in the sun on the issue. And the internet has responded accordingly. But sadly most of the comments have been vicious lies, insulting attacks, accusations and ridicule. Perhaps this is deserved. But the level of hate and nastiness, in my mind, is the equivalent of the extremists yelling “Fags must die”. I have read the attacks on him, and his children and shame on those who attacked my niece and nephews and include them in this argument. If both sides resort to name calling and nasty attacks, what can possibly be achieved? Both are guilty of this and it serves nothing and no one.

I’m sad at how this debate can deteriorate, blame on both sides. Clearly each side is passionate and fervent in their reasoning. And each should appreciate there are good people on both sides who have very deep beliefs. But I’m disappointed by the belittling, name-calling and stunts from both sides. We can be better.

I disapprove of what my brother has said, but I will defend to the death his right to say it. And your right to respond. But let’s do so in a way that is constructive.

The movement of marriage equality, at its core, is about love, tolerance, understanding, inclusion and equality. You have read and are very aware of the religious right’s arguments. They are not new, more than likely they will not be changed, and my brother is not alone in these thoughts.

I invite our equality movement to rise above, to engage, and to argue passionately against it. For I believe this line of argument does not represent the majority of views in Australia at this time. And I believe, with hope, in the Australia of inclusion, of free speech, in a wish for a country without racism, sexism or homophobia. Where regardless of race, age, sex, religion or sexuality, you have a voice, you are respected, welcomed, included and represented in our national debates on issues that affect all Australians.

This is a free country, and this issue can and has divided families, friends, communities and the country. We must respect everyone’s right to express themselves, and aim to do so as passionately and respectfully as possible. And reserve our right to disagree and counter equally as passionately as possible. Hate brings hate, love is always stronger.

So I invite you if you have seen this article and are affected by it, not to sling insults on social media, but to get proactive. Write to your MP’s and representatives. Tell them that the church should not be allowed to dictate and has no claim on the definition of marriage in the modern age. That our marriage act is currently discriminatory to those citizens who love each other and want this recognized as equals to all others.

If you are Christian and you do not share the beliefs of my brother then write to the ACL and tell them they do not speak for you. If you support his reasoning, also write to these same people and say that. You are entitled for your voice to be heard, just as my brother is. But equality is the stronger argument. The marriage equality movement leads with tolerance, understanding, compassion, inclusion and love, which should also be the role the Church is playing. Harness the energy this viral response has created and propel it towards positive change.

The time is now. This country is finally having an open debate on this issue, all voices should be heard, and then the obvious decision should be made. It is time for Australia to join the rest of the world in embracing marriage equality. And my brother should too.

I love and respect you, brother. You speak from your truth and I speak from mine.

And on this issue I believe you are wrong.

It’s time for marriage equality.

Soren Jensen

UPDATE: This article is a response to an earlier one penned by Soren’s brother Nick.

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26 Responses to Jensen divorce protest / It’s time, says brother

Inis Magrath (@InisMagrath) says: 12 June 2015 at 6:45 am

Soren, thank you for this heartfelt piece. To me, the most important part is this: “So I invite you … not to sling insults on social media, but to get proactive. Write to your MP’s and representatives…”

Yes! That’s the point. Don’t let the “no” side dominate the conversation among the decision makers.

Jim Botko says: 12 June 2015 at 2:52 pm

Soren, your brother and his wife and just small-minded bigots. And No one cares if he gets divorced. Go for it, tell him to knock himself out. He’s your brother, so you’re stuck with him..but for the rest of us…he’s nothing and means nothing. You can’t use the bible to hide behind your hate.

jim says: 8 June 2017 at 12:45 am

why is it always the ‘diversity’ mob who cant handle rejection? I reject you. Now cry again for us … ?

Vanessa says: 12 June 2015 at 9:07 pm

Good piece of writing, and yeah, if you go on internet with bold statements like your brother did, you catch a lot of sh*t. That’s just how it is. It was one man basicly saying he will not let other individuals have their lives the way they deeply want, while having it himself. I think he is misguided in his thinking but clearly, his beliefs are very firm. I hope his kids will not grow up mistrusting people and expecting them to attack you, I hope they grow up more tolerant than their parents, but with the same strength to communicate their believes.

William Mitchell says: 12 June 2015 at 11:35 pm

Nice to see someone who is for redefining marriage advocating free speech and also tolerance when there is very little of either from the LGBT community.

This piece falls down very badly towards the end though. The paragraph with the words “tolerance, understanding, compassion, inclusion and love” is false and totally ridiculous.

The tsunami of hysteria and hatred spewing from the LGBT community for any belief contrary to their own is childish and embarrassing. Trying to take the high morale ground is nonsensical and dishonest. Christo-phobia (hatred of Christians) is rife and far exceeds any homophobia by Christian people.

The homophobia claim is old and tired and most people see through it. While it was once effective in silencing opposition voices it is no longer. The people in the middle ground where this battle will be won (non-religious heterosexuals) are finally finding courage to speak. Marriage and family is too important.

The majority of people who are for traditional marriage aren’t people of faith. Nor are all LGBT people pushing for redefinition. Some also believe in traditional marriage. It’s hardly inevitable. This is the fifth time the issue has come before the parliament in Australia. Bill Shorten used it recently as a stunt to undermine the governments small business tax package. That’s what he thinks of the issue.

The number of countries that have redefined marriage are relatively few. Yes Ireland is one of them but Irelands decision to redefine marriage has as much impact on Australia’s decision on this issue as Irelands decision to become a republic in 1922 had on Australia’s decision not to in 1999.

We have the benefit of sitting back and seeing how things have unfolded overseas in jurisdictions that have redefined and more importantly considering the wider ramifications of such a decision. What would it mean for:

Free speech? Freedom of religion? Marriage celebrants? Churches, Synagogues and other places of worship? Marriage products and service providers? LGBT surrogacy? LGBT immigration and Australian passports? Adoption? The rights of children? Teaching on family and sexuality in schools?

Canada is a total debacle. Canadian marriage certificates no longer use the terms “husband” or “wife”. Canadian marriage certificates use “partner” and Canadian birth certificates use “legal parent” instead of “mother” and “father”. This is a awful for someone who has longed to be a husband or wife and a mother or father.

There really is no need to rush the debate. The definition of marriage has only been up for discussion in the last 15 years. Let’s talk about the ramifications of redefining and of maintaining the traditional definition of marriage. Traditional marriage marriage has stood for thousands of years.

Only fools rush in!

Nealan van den Berg says: 18 June 2015 at 1:03 am

Mr Mitchell,

I am a homosexual male living in South Africa and am surrounded by heterosexual people by choice. Do not misunderstand me, I do not surround myself with heterosexuals in an effort to become one myself, to add my name to the ex-gay annals, but rather to distance myself, if however ineffectual, from the vitriol spewed by the community I am supposed to call my own.

You mentioned that “The tsunami of hysteria and hatred spewing from the LGBT community for any belief contrary to their own is childish and embarrassing.” Yet, if I may be forthright, are the Christian heterosexuals not doing the same by lambasting homosexuals on a daily basis? Christian heterosexuals are the first to oppose any law, bill or discussion that would serve to put hetero- and homosexuals on the same playing field.
Further in the same paragraph you mention that “Christo-phobia (hatred of Christians) is rife and far exceeds any homophobia by Christian people.” You prefaced that remark by saying that the LGBT community, in trying to take the high morale ground, is nonsensical and dishonest. It is oft easier to quote occurrences to fit one’s circumstances than it is to view a subject from an un-biased, logical aspect. Christians have been verbose in their hatred and shaming of homosexuals and beliefs contrary to their own and it is Christians that still have the loudest voice in opposition to homosexuals having anything similar to what heterosexuals have, as mentioned previously. It is Christians who show the most hate towards the LGBT community. After years of being on the receiving end of such constant hate is it not fair that Christians be the target of hate speech from the LGBT community in return?

Why are Christians so afraid of homosexuals or of homosexuals having the same as heterosexuals? Why are Christians so afraid of seeing anyone that does not think like them or look like them as human beings that have their own needs and wants? Why are Christians so adamant that they know what is best for the rest of humanity when they clearly don’t? If the Jensen’s feel that getting a divorce is the best course of action to take in defiance of same-sex marriage, and they call themselves Christians, are they not blaspheming? Did they not take vows in front of God? Did they not make promises to each other in front of God? The only assumption one is left to make is that maybe they, and those who agree with them who call themselves Christian, really aren’t. Because as a non-Christian even I know that a vouw made in the presence of God is sacrosanct and not broken without repercussions – and here they are, throwing something that homosexuals are FIGHTING for, away.

If one is able to use religion to oppress the rights of others, and is able to use religion and God the way they see fit to suit their purposes, then they should not call themselves religious or Christian, but rather heathens, because they know not the mind of their maker. We all will have to atone for what we did when the day of judgement comes.

Phil z says: 28 June 2015 at 11:45 am

i feel the reason why they “fear” homosexuals and marriage equality is because they fear their gods wrath, and maybe believe with gay marriage rights their countries are turning into Sodom…and in their bible Sodom and that other twin city that I know the name of but can’t spell get destroyed. One of the key things I beleive was that people in the cities slept with whom ever they pleased, including children…so really no matter how you look at it their beliefs are rather insulting….that may not be the only reason but here in the states I hear a lot of them pointing to the biblical story….as an atheist I’m untethered by this senseless fear. I follow my heart, and my heart tells me these people deserve equality because we are all .. people. Pure an simple.

Nat says: 13 June 2015 at 10:50 am

I don’t believe Australia has a freedom of speech, implied through the High court but easily rebutted. I certainly don’t feel that a freedom of speech should extend to any form of discrimination. He needs to realise that discrimination is not tolerated by a large sum of Australians and if he is going to put himself out there with such a ridiculous argument, he is going to have to endure peoples’ comments at all extremes. Your brother wants to protect the definition of marriage how man kind has interpreted it. He lacks empathy for others who have to live complex lives as homosexuals because other people do not see them as entitled to the same rights, such as marriage. I am fortunate to know a number of wonderful homosexual couples and I hope to one day see them share their love in marriage just as I have with my husband. Here is hoping one day your brother agrees. He is not being bold by what he is doing, just silly. Bold people are Martin Luther King, The honourable Micheal Kirby, Katherine Switzer…. I could go on and on. These are people who stand up for real rights and make big changes, positive changes that result in equal rights. They are r embers and celebrated in history. All your brother will be remembered for is this person with a ridiculous concept, not for his ability to exercise his freedom of speech (whatever that is in Australia), just plain old discrimination.

William Mitchell says: 13 June 2015 at 4:41 pm

Hey Nat,

Discrimination and free speech are interesting issues (as is freedom of religion). Definitions are important. I think it’s worth noting that there is such a thing as positive discrimination. Adults are not pupils in primary schools and paedophiles fail working with children checks. Both are correct. I make this point because I hope people will understand it’s possible to believe marriage is and ought to between one man and one woman. That’s free speech at work and I say it without any hatred whatsoever.

In regards to homosexuals living “complex lives” I think the reasons you give are inadequate. Their civil unions do have the same rights under Australian law as married heterosexual couples (or de facto couples for that matter).

Joe Blow says: 17 June 2015 at 9:49 am

William, of course it’s possible to believe in a discriminatory definition of marriage. And – how does that make it right? Some people might believe that marriage should be of one man and one woman of the same racial characteristics only.

Some people genuinely believe that married women should not enter the workforce.

How does a sincere and earnestly held belief make discrimination acceptable?

heath says: 13 June 2015 at 1:51 pm

To quote: “Perhaps this is deserved. But the level of hate and nastiness, in my mind, is the equivalent of the extremists yelling “Fags must die”.”

The book your brother gets his values from says exactly that, and the community knows it, so the playing field is level as far as vitriol goes.

Stuart Sadler says: 14 June 2015 at 12:16 am

Nick Jensen,

I think I get your line of reasoning.

Allow me to paraphrase my take on it very quickly (and grossly, I apologise) and then expand; 10 years ago, marriage was between men and women, that’s the sacrament you and your wife, then girlfriend made a commitment to and you both took it seriously. The changes that society is considering to ‘marriage’ would therefore change what marriage actually is. Therefore this new type of marriage would no-longer be representative of yours.

I think it’s crucial to follow through on vows (promises) otherwise, why bother making them in the first place? And many people may not have gone to the length that you have to uphold yours, not only for yourself, but for others as well.

I am pro gay and have considered this topic before. I am not comfortable with gay marriage for similar reasons you are; It changes what marriage is. Gay relationships are not the same as traditional marriage relationships, they are same sex, therefore dynamically different, with pros and cons, just like anything else. Binding them under the same name is, I think, not a completely fair answer.

I thought we needed something different. Something that upholds the rich history of, and indeed the deep sacredness of what we currently understand to be marriage, but offered something new, something that answered the desires of those who are seeking growth and indeed change.

I think it might be a new word. Something that defines this new, expanded thing. Because there are similarities as well.

Marriage clearly means different things to different people. Some people take it more or less seriously than others, wrong or right. Some want it, some don’t. Some try it and break it. For some it works. Either way, don’t we all want to live our dreams of love and partnership, in peace with others, no matter how short sighted, or wise, or unimportant that may seem to others?

And to learn hopefully from our successes and failures.

I noticed that you did not stand in anyone’s way to achieve what they are seeking, but did make a clear noise to protect what you already have, and I think that, and your articulation of the wider ramifications to all members of society especially should be commended.


I caught an interview with you on the radio today, I was so proud that you, as a person, had the guts to stand up for what you believe in, and the assuredness to articulate your thinking.

kate says: 15 September 2015 at 11:25 am

Why not term them “Biblical Marriage”, and “Same Sex Marriage”m or just “Biblical Marriage” and “Marriage”. Could even add a box for “Secular Marriage”, or “Other Marriage”, for other than Biblical, or Christian Marriages. We do it for races, or ethnicities on our tax forms, so why not. That way, people who do not see marriage as Nick and Sarah do, could choose from any number of new titles, other than “Biblical Marriage,” because nowhere in the Bible is there a same sex marriage, but there were homosexuals from so early on. Irreligious people wouldn’t have to fret if we made these changes.

Deni Tomkinson says: 15 June 2015 at 1:11 pm

I’m sorry Soren but can you please show me where it’s stated that Australians have Freedom Of Speech.
The simple answer is we don’t, unlike America our constitution does not have Freedom Of Speech anywhere!

Anne says: 16 June 2015 at 10:25 pm

The freedom of communication (which is closely related to freedom of speech as popularly known) has been implied by the High Court into our constitution. The freedom to express our views (provided we are not inciting hatred) is also an international human right.

Ralph Horner says: 16 June 2015 at 3:55 pm

Soren you are of course entitled to your opinion and beliefs but I think you should be extremely proud of your brother and sister-in-law for having the courage to stand up for their beliefs in such a public way.

So many people have been duped by the ‘marriage equality’ campaign (I say campaign because it’s not really an argument – it’s an emotional juggernaut playing on the fact that people feel sorry for those who are presented as being discriminated against).

The reasoning is completely false – there is no “equality” in question. As many have pointed out, the issue is all about redefinition and in the redefinition the real meaning of marriage becomes lost and no longer applies.

A male/female relationship is completely different from a same-sex relationship. To describe them using the same term is to assume there is no difference between male and female. The whole idea of doing so is a farce when viewed from the perspective of common-sense and logic.

If someone wants to choose a same-sex relationship that’s their prerogative but they and the whole community should be aware that it is not a marriage relationship which can only occur between complementary entities such as male and female.

One can only hope that our leaders (or enough of them) have enough reason and common-sense not to act like the populace in the story of ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ – afraid to state and stand up for the obvious truth for fear of appearing different and being thought bigoted.

Corri says: 16 June 2015 at 5:26 pm

Soren, ask your “Christian” brother what he and his ilk are doing about pedophilia in their religion. Hippocrates and liars who protect criminal priests. Why don’t you put your efforts in to something that needs to change(Criminal priest), instead of something that will change (Gay marriage)

Heather says: 27 June 2015 at 8:44 pm

Soren….I think I’d love to be friends with both of you. You both sound like safe people to hash stuff out with. Many thanks for your input and bless you for loving your brother and all your family so well, regardless of convictions. xx

Dakota says: 1 July 2015 at 9:18 am

“Hippocrates of Kos was a Greek physician of the Age of Pericles, and is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine.” I believe the word you are looking for, is hypocrite.

Pauline says: 30 August 2015 at 9:26 pm

Feeling pretty happy that you think your brother is a twat. What he and his soon to be ex bride hope to achieve is wonderful. They are supporting gay marriage. Hope they don’t rip off centrelink. More than 4 days a week is living together. They said they would continue to raise kids…….great, if they do it and allow their kids to learn about marriage equality.


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