A British same-sex married couple were on honeymoon when one of the spouses died. David and Marco Bulmer-Rizzi married in UK and spent their honeymoon in Australia where David died after an accident. Authorities released an Australian death certificate that stated “never married.” Marco Blumer-Rizzi was told that “not one of the drop-down options on the computer.”
This happened because Australia is one of the five countries (Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa) where the UK policy doesn’t enable Britons to get UK-style death certificates.
UK changed these regulations since Friday, and the five countries along with other foreign countries can now release death certificates in a UK format. This means that the document will have a section for “signature, description and residence of informant”, and the person who registers the death has the option to choose the “widow” status.
The case of Rizzis had a big impact in changing policies as a spokesperson from the Foreign Office states. “The theory was that these five countries are for most purposes the same as the UK in terms of how they do their death certificates. This case [involving the Bulmer-Rizzis] has pointed out that they’re not the same in every respect, so that’s why it’s been changed.”
Marco Bulmer-Rizzi wrote on Facebook about the importance of this change, and despite the tragic event, this will make a difference in other people’s lives.
“Even better, and all I ever wanted, it will show my name as the applicant and my relationship to David as husband.
“I am getting so emotional just thinking about how much change we have enabled and the support has been incredible. One lesson I’ve learnt…you should never be afraid to stand [up] for what you believe in.”
Jay Weatherill, the state’s premiere assured Marco Bulmer-Rizzi that the death certificate of his husband will be reissued with the marital status, and South Australia will pass the legislation according to which same-sex marriages are recognized overseas.