A Law Reform Institute (LRI) report has recommended that same-sex couples in South Australia should have their relationships recognised under law.
LRI director John Williams said it should also be extended to tourists whose relationships are recognised interstate or overseas.
The Relationships Register is one of 18 proposals put forward by the institute to reduce LGBTI discrimination without changing marriage laws.
It would give same-sex couples equal rights when it came to accessing reproductive treatment, surrogacy, employment and superannuation entitlements, as well as next-of-kin status after the death of a partner.
Deficiencies in the law were exposed by the case of Marco and David Bulmer-Rizzi, which made world headlines in January.
David died while the UK pair were honeymooning in Adelaide and Marco was told his husband’s death certificate would read “never married” because their overseas marriage was not recognised here.
“Despite positive incremental changes, South Australia still lags behind other state and territories when it comes to giving equal rights to gay and lesbian couples, including recognising both partners as legal parents of children,” Professor Williams said.
“While it may not mirror the symbolism or social status of marriage, a Relationships Register offers a clear solution to otherwise complex and challenging laws governing relationships and parenting in South Australia.”
The report also recommends changing wording in the Family Relationships Act from “paternity” or “father” to gender-neutral terms such a “parentage” and “co-parent”, and removing the phrase “marriage-like relationship”; allowing single people and gay couples to use a surrogate mother to have a baby; and allowing gay couples to adopt children.
South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill said he had “committed to bringing legislation based on the report to Parliament for its consideration”.
“I will be supporting the legislation but these matters are likely to be conscience issues for MPs,” he said.