Britain has thanked South Australian premier Jay Weatherill after his apology to a gay British man who was refused next-of-kin status when his husband died in Adelaide.
Marco Bulmer-Rizzi’s husband David died on Saturday after falling down stairs and cracking his skull at a friend’s home during the couple’s honeymoon in Adelaide.
The death certificate – which the SA government hopes to reissue – read ‘never married’ and Mr Bulmer-Rizzi was not allowed to authorise decisions surrounding his husband’s funeral.
British High Commissioner to Australia Menna Rawlings thanked Mr Weatherill for his pledge to introduce laws recognising same-sex marriages performed overseas.
The premier earlier called Mr Bulmer-Rizzi to apologise for his treatment by Australian authorities.
‘He told me that in a range of ways he felt disrespected,’ Mr Weatherill said on Wednesday night.
‘It shouldn’t have happened and I am sad that it happened here in South Australia.’
Mr Weatherill said full rights for same-sex partners would only be resolved fully when gay marriage was legalised.
‘Ultimately, this is about recognition of same-sex marriage and there are so many things that flow from that, such as basic acceptance in our community of people at every level,’ he said.
Mr Bulmer-Rizzi was left devastated after being ‘completely overlooked’ in the wake of his husband’s death.
‘Every single question I was asked – whether or not I wanted David cremated, whether or not I wanted David to have a service, or be washed, even the cost of the coffin they were to use – after I gave my answer, David’s father was consulted,’ he told Buzzfeed.
‘He was also specifically asked, “Do you want to look this over before it’s signed?” It was outright discrimination. If I didn’t get on with my in-laws, I don’t know that I would have any rights.’