Advocates have called on the federal government to follow South Australia’s lead by recognising overseas same-sex marriages. 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.
“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’,” said Australian Marriage Equality National Director, Rodney Croome.
“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,” said Mr Croome.
For more information, visit: www.australianmarriageequality.org for details.
Image: David and Marco David Bulmer-Rizzi (facebook)