A Christian heterosexual couple who vowed to divorce if Australia said yes to same-sex marriage are not, in fact, splitting up, it has emerged after the country's House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to legalise it.
Following last month's non-binding postal vote survey in which 61.6 per cent of Australians voted for legalisation, Nick and Sarah Jensen said they would wait to see what shape the law took in parliament, according to news.com.au.
In a statement to the outlet immediately after Parliament today voted to change the law, Mr Jensen rowed back on his bold pledge, made in 2015.
'My previous public comments regarding civil divorce never envisaged me separating from my wife, but rather our marriage from the state,' he said.
'The legislation currently makes it untenable for us to do this under the law. The point we were highlighting and that still stands however is the fact that a redefinition of marriage changes the agreement under which we were originally married. We will be making no further comment.'
Mr Jensen had previously told the Canberra City News: 'My wife and I just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary but later this year we may be getting a divorce.'
'As Christians, we believe marriage is not a human invention,' he wrote.
'Our view is that marriage is a fundamental order of creation. Part of God's intimate story for human history. Marriage is the union of a man and a woman before a community in the sight of God. And the marriage of any couple is important to God regardless of whether that couple recognises God's involvement or authority in it.
'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.'
He did add that the couple would not undergo a traditional divorce and separation.
'After our divorce, we'll continue to live together, hopefully for another 50 years,' he said. '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.'
After this public pledge, some 100,000 people signed up to attend a Facebook event called 'Celebrating Nick and Sarah Jensen's divorce'.
Mr Jensen told the Mail Online that he and Sarah would wait to see what any change to the marriage law is before publicly announcing their future plans.
'We just need to see the legislation and if it all goes that way,' he said.
'Then we know what situation we're in and what we're going to do.'
Although the couple kept a relatively low profile during the debate, Mr Jensen's Facebook page carried a picture of the couple with a Coalition for Marriage banner reading: 'It's OK to vote No.'
The pair married at the age of 21 and, according to news.com.au, were high school sweethearts for several years before that.
Mr Jensen wrote in 2015: 'When we signed that official-looking marriage certificate 10 years ago at Tuggeranong Baptist Church, we understood that the state was endorsing marriage, as currently defined, as the fundamental social institution – with all that this implied.
'But if this is no longer the case, then we no longer wish to be associated with this new definition.
'The truth is, "marriage" is simply too important. It is a sacred institution, ordained by God. It has always been understood to be that exclusive relationship where one man and one woman become "one flesh". Any attempt to change the definition of marriage by law is not something in which we are able to partake.'
Mr Jensen's brother, Soren, waded into the controversy at the time, writing of his sibling: '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.
'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.'