The federal Senate has debated a new bill which would recognise overseas same-sex marriages in order to prevent a repeat of an incident involving a British man refused next of kin status after his husband died in Adelaide.
British man Marco Bulmer-Rizzi was forced to ask the British government to intervene after his husband, David Bulmer-Rizzi, died suddenly after falling down a staircase and cracking his skull at friend’s home last month. He was told that due to laws in South Australia, where same-sex marriages from overseas are not legally recognised, all decisions must be made by the deceased’s father. An initial death certificate also read that the pair were "never married".
South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill apologised for the incident and promised to amend state legislation to recognise overseas same-sex marriages.
Greens senator Robert Simms, who introduced the new bill, said overseas marriage recognition laws must be standardised across the country to avoid the heartache and humiliation experienced by Bulmer-Rizzi.
“I will introduce the Greens bill to Parliament to bring South Australia, Western Australia, the ACT and the Northern Territory into line with the rest of the country in recognising same sex marriages performed overseas," Senator Simms said in a statement Thursday.
"No-one should ever have to go through the trauma experienced by Marco Bulmer-Rizzi after his husband David’s death last month.
“It is embarrassing that our state, the first state in the nation to decriminalise homosexuality 40 years ago, is now lagging behind as one of the last states to remove this discrimination."