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Australia refuses recognition of Briton’s same sex marriage

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March 28, 2024

A British man whose spouse died while on honeymoon in Australia has been told his same sex marriage will not be acknowledged on the death certificate.

Marco Bulmer-Rizzi, from Sunderland, travelled to Australia with husband David in December for an extended honeymoon. The couple had married the previous June. Sadly David died earlier this week after falling down some stairs while visiting friends and cracking his skull.

Marco was then told the death certificate would list the deceased as ‘unmarried’ and that he would therefore not be recognised as David’s legal next of kin by the South Australian authorities. David’s father had to fly across to make all the funeral arrangements.

Speaking to news site Buzzfeed, Marco complained that he was “nothing” as far as the Australian government was concerned. He called on the British government to intervene.

Australia is one of the dwindling band of First World Countries which have failed to legalise gay marriage. Some Australian states do recognise marriages conducted in other countries, but South Australia, where David died, does not.

The government’s refusal has been condemned by campaigners. Harley Schumann of Australian Marriage Equality said:

“Most South Australians would find it appalling that our law has failed to recognise the love and commitment in David and Marco’s relationship. A high priority for us is lobbying the South Australian government so this can’t happen again.”

Jay Weatherill, Premier (head) of the South Australian government, also expressed his support for legal change, saying the story was “another example of how senseless discrimination of sexual orientation can cause pain and hurt”.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Andrew says:

    “He called on the British Government to intervene”
    What are we supposed to do?
    Send a gunboat?
    It’s sad but Oz is independent these days.

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