Widower receives apology from South Australian Premier over refusal to recognise marriage

A man whose husband died while on their honeymoon has received an apology from the South Australian Premier after their marriage was not recognised.

David Bulmer-Rizzi died last weekend after falling down a set of stairs and cracking his skull whilst on his honeymoon in South Australia.

As South Australia does not recognise same-sex marriage, his widower Marco Bulmer-Rizzi, said he was told the death certificate would read “never married”.

Now the South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has called Bulmer Rizzi directly to explain that he hopes the situation can be fixed with legislation.

Bulmer Rizzi2

Speaking to BuzzFeed News’ Patrick Strudwick, Bulmer Rizzi said: “He phoned me directly. We were on the phone for a good ten minutes. He apologised. He said he would work on ways they can bring a change to avoid this happening in the future.”

“They are looking to actively change it through legislation and he told me it would happen in the next few months. He promised me that they would reissue the death certificate once that has happened.”

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 08: Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott (R) and South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill are pictured during a press conference on January 8, 2015 in Adelaide, Australia. Prime Minister Abbott announced victims of the South Australian bush fires will receive federal assistance during a tour to the bushfire zone.Ê (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

The couple, who lived in Sunderland, England, got married in June 2015, and travelled to Australia in December for a delayed honeymoon.

The British high commissioner’s office in Canberra, said the situation was “very distressing”, and that the office would look into it.

Having written to David Cameron and the Foreign Office, he has called on Britain to defend its equality laws abroad.

“I understand they can’t change Australian law, but I’m not asking them to,” he told BuzzFeed.

“I’m asking my own country to stand by its own laws. If the British government is aware that other countries do not recognise same-sex marriage they should try to defend what their law says.”