South Australia Will Recognise Next-of-Kin Rights for LGBT Couples
South Australia has passed a bill that will recognise next-of-kin rights for LGBT couples.
The bill will recognise overseas gay marriages, too.
The Relationships Register (no.1) bill is a result of Marco Bulmer-Rizzi’s heartbreaking experience following the death of his husband, David, during their Australian honeymoon, earlier this year.
David and Marco married in the UK and were in South Australia when David died suddenly.
Because South Australia does not have an equal marriage law, the couple were not entitled to the same legal rights as they would be under UK law.
- Under South Australian law, Marco, despite being David's husband, was not David’s next-of-kin.
He couldn't, therefore, make key decisions or arrangements for his husband's body. These decisions had to be made by David’s father back in the UK.
- Marco was later told that his husband would be registered as “unmarried” on the death certificate.
- David's ashes were then temporarily confiscated in Hong Kong because Marco was not David's next-of-kin.
The situation highlighted some of the severe shortcomings in South Australian law for LGBT couples.
In November 2016, plans for an equal marriage plebiscite were rejected.
Equal marriage remains an unavailable option for LGBT couples throughout Australia.