South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill, has responded to the tragic case of a British man not being recognised as his husband’s next of kin by committing to legislation to rectify the over sight.
Australian Marriage Equality national director, Rodney Croome, said, “Last night I spoke to the man at the centre of the tragedy, Marco Bulmer-Rizzi, who said SA Premier, Jay Weatherill, has given him a personally guarantee South Australia will pass legislation to recognise overseas same-sex marriages, as well as re-issuing the death certificate of Marco’s late husband David which currently says ‘never married’”.
“I urge the federal government to follow South Australia’s lead and ensure there is no discrimination against same-sex couples married overseas, be they travellers like Marco and David or Australian residents.”
“Ever more Australian same-sex couples are marrying overseas because they can’t wait any longer for marriage equality in their home country.”
“It’s time the federal government stopped delaying and responded to the fact that thousands of its citizens are in legitimate but unrecognised marriages.”
Currently, Tasmania, NSW and Queensland recognise overseas same-sex marriages as state civil partnerships with Victoria soon to follow.
Mr Croome said that while civil partnerships do not exist in South Australia or federally, the recognition of overseas same-sex marriages would be a simple matter of amending existing de facto partnership laws to declare that such a marriage is proof of the existence of a de facto partnership.
The federal Marriage Act expressly prohibits any Australian government from recognising overseas same-sex marriages as marriages.
“Amendment of existing laws is a useful interim measure but the real, long-term solution to this problem is marriage equality at a national level”, Mr Croome said.