A BILL has been introduced in South Australian Parliament that will provide legal recognition for LGBTI couples across the state, along with those that get married overseas.

The Relationships Register Bill 2016 was introduced by Labor MP Katrine Hildyard earlier today and if passed, it will allow unmarried couples to register their relationships and receive a certificate of registration.

As part of the register, the overseas marriages of LGBTI couples would also be legally recognised.

Hildyard said she was proud to introduce the bill in parliament.

“This bill will go a long way to ensuring that every South Australian is included and equally able to participate in every aspect of community life,” she said.

“Sadly, Australia does not yet have marriage equality, but this bill will help couples have access to their legal rights while we wait for our country to catch up with the rest of the world.”

Earlier this year, British tourist David Bulmer-Rizzi passed away while honeymooning in Adelaide and his marriage with husband Marco wasn’t recorded on his death certificate because South Australian law didn’t recognise their marriage.

This meant Marco had little say in the arrangements following his husband’s death.

David (front) and Marco Bulmer-Rizzi at their wedding in Santorini in June, 2015. Photo: Facebook

David (front) and Marco Bulmer-Rizzi at their wedding in Santorini in June, 2015. Photo: Facebook

At the time Premier Jay Weatherill promised to amend the state legislation to ensure this wouldn’t happen again.

Today Weatherill said he was horrified by what Marco and his family had to experience when his husband passed away.

“We had already started the process of removing discrimination from South Australian law and this ordeal reinforced the need to continue putting forward a raft of legislation,” he said.

“This bill provides a mechanism for LGBTI couples to demonstrate their shared commitment and demonstrates a respect for the many diverse relationships in our community.”

In light of the new bill, Marco Bulmer-Rizzi has said he’s deeply grateful to the Premier for keeping his promise and bringing forward the legislation.

“Losing David and seeing our family not recognised in the midst of my darkness was devastating,” he said.

“The introduction of this bill will allow me to request David’s death certificate to be reissued with the correct marital status on it.

“And in many ways, it will allow me to feel that I have fulfilled the promise I gave him on our wedding day to honour and respect him.”

The bill will debated in parliament over the next month.

 

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