UK man excluded from husband’s death certificate after accident in Adelaide


An English man has lost his life in a tragic accident while on honeymoon with his husband here in Australia.

Buzzfeed UK report that David Bulmer-Rizzi fell down a flight of stairs in Adelaide, retaining serious damage to his skull. Mr Bulmer-Rizzi was confirmed brain-dead last Friday.

Widower Marco Bulmer-Rizzi, also a British citizen, married David in South London in June last year. A lack of legislation for same-sex marriage here in Australia has resulted in Marco being excluded from his husbands death certificate, denying him his next-of-kin status.

David Bulmer-Rizzi’s death certificate reads that he was “never married”.

South Australian authorities have bypassed Mr Bulmer-Rizzi’s opinion on his late husband’s affairs, instead looking to David’s father Nigel Bulmer for answers.

“It’s degrading,” Nigel Bulmer told Buzzfeed UK, “It demeans my son’s memory and denies their relationship. It’s cast them as second-class citizens. No one should ever have to go through what we’ve gone through. We’re at the bottom and somebody has dug a deeper pit.”

“I wasn’t the next of kin,” Marco Bulmer-Rizzi continues.

“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 – after I gave my answer David’s father was consulted.”

“It was outright discrimination. If I didn’t get on with my in-laws, I don’t know that I would have any rights.”

South Australia, as well as the Northern Territory and here in Western Australia, do not currently recognise same-sex marriages from overseas.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill told InDaily publications that this is another example of senseless discrimination causing pain and hurt.

“We introduced an initial Bill to the Parliament last year to begin the removal of discrimination from South Australia legislation,” Mr Weatherill told InDaily.

“We will introduce a further raft of legislation to the Parliament this year that will grapple with the more complex issues such as this.”

Mr Bulmer-Rizzi’s death has triggered an outcry from marriage equality advocates calling for the South Australian Government to recognise overseas marriages.

Greens LGBTI spokesperson Senator Robert Simms wrote that he believes it is appalling that a grieving husband is being treated this way.

“It’s degrading and humiliating and an example of the cruel nature of this element of Australian law,” Senator Simms wrote on Facebook.

“Parliament must act to acknowledge same-sex marriages performed overseas.”

Australian Marriage Equality’s South Australian convener Harley Schumann says most South Australians would find it appalling that South Australian law has failed to recognise the love and commitment in David and Marco’s relationship.

“It’s time for us to join Tasmania, Victoria, NSW and Queensland in recognising overseas same-sex marriages,” Schumann said.

“A high priority for us is lobbying the South Australian Government so this can’t happen again.”


OIP Staff


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