SOUTH Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has telephoned to personally apologise to the UK widower whose husband died in Adelaide but their same-sex marriage was not recognised.
[showads ad=MREC] David Bulmer-Rizzi died in a tragic accident on Saturday, but his husband Marco Bulmer-Rizzi faced ongoing heartache when he was not allowed to make medical decisions for his husband — except for organ donation — and David was listed as “not married” on his death certificate.
The couple were honeymooning in Australia after marrying in Santorini in June last year.
Weatherill also confirmed Marco would receive a new death certificate which will list David as married, once the appropriate legislation was passed in SA.
Marco told BuzzFeed News the Premier also asked him how he was treated by the police and medical staff, with Marco telling Weatherill one police officer kept referring to David as his partner rather than husband.
The public reaction and support to their plight has been overwhelming and Marco believes David would have been proud.
“I don’t know if David would even believe it,” he told BuzzFeed News.
“The fact that through him maybe this is never going to happen to somebody else is such a good thing.”
Weatherill told ABC News the family’s pain was caused by “senseless discrimination” and the SA Government planned to tackle the many parts of the state’s law that discriminated against LGBTI people.
“We introduced an initial bill to the Parliament last year to begin the removal of discrimination from South Australian legislation,” he said.
“We will introduce a further raft of legislation to the Parliament this year that will grapple with the more complex issues such as this.”
Marriage equality advocates have urged the federal government to follow South Australia’s lead by recognising overseas same-sex marriages.”
Ever more Australian same-sex couples are marrying overseas because they can’t wait any longer for marriage equality in their home country,” Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome said.
“It’s time the federal government stopped delaying and responded to the fact that thousands of its citizens are in legitimate but unrecognised marriages.”
Only Tasmania, NSW and Queensland recognise overseas same-sex marriages as state civil partnerships with Victoria soon to follow.
Croome said that while civil partnerships did not exist in South Australia nor federally, the recognition of overseas same-sex marriages would be a simple matter of amending existing de facto partnership laws to declare that such a marriage is proof of the existence of a de facto partnership.
The federal Marriage Act explicitly prohibits any Australian government from recognising overseas same-sex marriages as marriages.
“Amendment of existing laws is a useful interim measure but the real, long-term solution to this problem is marriage equality at a national level,” Croome said.[showads ad=FOOT]