UK Couple’s Same-Sex Marriage Denied Recognition In South AustraliaSouth Australian authorities refused to acknowledge David Bulmer-Rizzi’s gay marriage on his death certificate.

A UK man has been denied recognition of his marriage on his husband’s death certificate.

David and Marco Bulmer-Rizzi were married in the United Kingdom last year and travelled to Adelaide for their honeymoon. David was killed in an undisclosed accident, and Marco was not recognised as his next-of-kin due to South Australian laws.

Marco was informed that the death certificate would be issued with “never married” printed on it, due to the Australian law not recognising same-sex marriage. Marco said he inquired “whether it was possible to say nothing [about his marital status], and I was told, ‘No, that’s not one of the drop down options on the computer’.” David’s family complained afterwards and, once again, were told the certificate would not be left blank.

Marco ran into further troubles when it came time for his husband’s funeral arrangements. David’s father had to approve all of them.

“I was completely overlooked,” Marco said. “I wasn’t the next of kin. Every single question I was asked – whether or not I wanted David cremated, whether or not I wanted David to have a service, or be washed, even the cost of the coffin they were to use – David’s father was consulted afterwards. He was also specifically asked, “Do you want to look this over before it’s signed?” It was outright discrimination. If I didn’t get on with my in-laws, I don’t know that I would have any rights.”

Now, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill plans to issue an apology to the family. In a statement, Weatherill said, “It is another example of how senseless discrimination of sexual orientation can cause pain and hurt.”

There are plans to introduce a bill to Parliament this year that would change discriminatory legislation against gay and lesbian people. Weatherill said, “We introduced an initial Bill to Parliament this year to begin the removal of discrimination from South Australian legislation. We will introduce a further raft of legislation to the Parliament this year that will grapple with the more complex issues such as this.”

South Australian Senator Penny Wong said, “This case is a tragic example of how Australia’s marriage laws discriminate against gays and lesbians, causing needless pain, suffering and heartache. It shows why Federal Parliament needs to legislate for marriage equality and bring Australia into line with countries like the United Kingdom.”

Marco is urging people to contact Australian politicians and request them to change laws recognising international same-sex marriages.