Heartbreak, Humiliation and a Death Certificate

“Heartbreak and humiliation” were the opening words of the current affairs show “The 7:30 Report” on the national public broadcaster, the ABC, on Thursday Friday 21, 2016. The story? The tragic accidental death of David Bulmer-Rizzi, one member of a UK same sex couple who were visiting the country.The tragedy was compounded, the report said, by the fact that the South Australian authorities were proposing to issue a death certificate which stated that the deceased was “never married”. But the couple had entered into a same sex marriage under UK law.

The grief of the survivor, Marco Bulmer-Rizzi, and the father of the deceased man, were evident in the show. To lose a loved one in such circumstances is a terrible thing. But as there has already been substantial press coverage of the case, being used for the purpose of supporting legal change in Australia, it seems worthwhile to clarify the purely legal situation. 

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