January 20, 2016

Man’s anger that death certificate won’t recognise his marriage

David Bulmer-Rizzi had died after falling down the stairs and banging his head while honeymooning in the country.

In contrast to many other countries, Australia has yet to legalise same-sex marriage and while some states recognise unions made overseas, this is not the case in South Australia – where the tragic accident happened earlier this month.

Marco Bulmer-Rizzi was distraught to discover that the couple’s marriage would not be acknowledged by the paperwork and that he could not be recognised as next of kin. The news prompted him to write to Prime Minister David Cameron and the Foreign Office.

“I understand they can’t change Australian law but I’m not asking them to,” he told BuzzFeed.

“I’m asking my own country to stand by its own laws. If the British government is aware that other countries do not recognise same-sex marriage they should try to defend what their law says”

Rodney Croome, the national director of Australian Marriage Equality, said the case had raised important issues.

“I am angry about the pain David’s partner and family have been put through, the way this tarnishes Australia’s reputation and the fact our federal government has unnecessarily delayed reform by proposing a plebiscite,” he said.

“This tragedy highlights not only the need for marriage equality but its urgency.”

The couple, who lived in Sunderland, had married last summer and travelled out to Australia for their honeymoon break at the end of last year.

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