A man told by Australian authorities that his late husband's death certificate would read 'never married' due to a state ban ongay marriage has received an apology from the South Australia premier, bringing about a potential change in the law. Marco Bulmer-Rizzi, 38, from the UK, had been excluded from decisions involving his late husband David, 32, who died suddenly after falling down the stairs of a home in Adelaide on 16 January.
Marco, who married David in June 2014 before embarking on a belated honeymoon in December 2015, was also told his husband's death certificate would read 'never married' thanks to South Australia's failure to acknowledge same-sex marriage.
Despite his husband and partner of five years being with him, David's next of kin was initially declared to be his father, who was forced to make decisions about his son over the phone from the UK.
"Literally within an hour, I had no choice but to deny that we ever married," Marco reportedly told news.com.au. "It made me feel humiliated and lonely. I felt like it was 20 years ago when you couldn't come out for fear of being treated differently."
However, following online outrage, South Australia premier Jay Weatherill on 20 January reportedly telephoned Marco to apologise and agreed to issue a correct death certificate. He is also said to be considering a change in the state's law that would see South Australia recognising same-sex marriages that took place abroad.