If ever there was an argument for same-sex marriage, this is it.
David and Marco Bulmer-Rizzi were a happily married British couple beginning their lives together. They scrimped and saved to go on their honeymoon in Adelaide, Australia.
But David, 32, was killed in a freak accident where he fell down some stairs and cracked his skull. On the death certificate, it was stamped ‘never married’ as South Australian law did not recognise their marriage.
‘When the funeral director came that’s when I was told that because Australia doesn’t recognise same-sex marriage, it [the death certificate] will say ‘never married’, Marco Bulmer-Rizzi told Buzzfeed News.
Because of this senseless logic, Marco was not recognised as his husband’s next of kin.
‘I was completely overlooked,’ he 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 — after I gave my answer David’s father was consulted.
‘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.’
South Australia’s Premier Jay Weatherall has offered a personal apology to David Bulmer-Rizzi’s family, and said a bill to remove laws discriminating against LGBTI people would be introduced later this year.
But it is too late for one couple.
‘It is another example of how senseless discrimination of sexual orientation can cause pain and hurt,’ Weatherill told ABC.