SOUTH AUSTRALIA TO FINALLY RECOGNISE OVERSEAS SAME-SEX MARRIAGES


Andrew and Christopher Birtwistle-Smith

South Australian Greens MP Tammy Franks and Liberal MP David Pisoni have united to introduce a co-sponsored bill to recognise overseas same-sex marriages in the state.

The bill is in response to the humiliation suffered by UK resident Marco Bulmer-Rizzi when his husband David died suddenly on their honeymoon in Adelaide in January this year. David’s marriage was not acknowledged on his death certificate and Marco was not recognised as David’s next of kin.

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South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill met with Mr Bulmer-Rizzi to apologise and pledged to change the law.

But Ms Franks told the ABC said she wouldn’t wait any longer for Mr Weatherill to act.

“It’s not good enough to put a Facebook square out, to promise people they’ll have their human rights respected and do it on a piece-meal basis,” she said.

Mr Weatherill told News Corp he welcomed the two MPs’ bill and said he was waiting for the South Australian Law Reform Institute to finish a report on the reform.

At the launch of the bill, South Australian resident Andrew Birtwistle-Smith (pictured, left) described finding himself in a similar situation to Marco Bulmer-Rizzi when his partner Christopher died in August 2015.

The couple married in Canada over a decade ago, but Andrew was told he could not have their marriage recorded on Christopher’s death certificate.

“It was horrific, getting the news that your partner has passed away suddenly and unexpectedly and then a week later I’m sitting in a room with a complete stranger whose telling me that our relationship, our marriage, cannot be recognised,” he said.