A newlywed died on his honeymoon. Then Australian laws dealt a cruel blow to his grieving husband.

The Project played a heart-breaking interview with Marco Bulmer-Rizzi tonight.

Marco, whose husband David tragically died in South Australia last week, is devastated.

“David was my everything,” he said. “David was my peace and quiet. The place where I was home.”

In response to Australian same-sex marriage laws which fail to recognise his marriage to David, Marco said he was ‘humiliated’. “It was the biggest slap in my heart.”

For many decisions after David’s death, Marco was forced to defer to David’s father. “I am lucky enough that David and I have what I would call a real family,” he said.

David’s organs have been donated to Australian’s in need. “I just keep going back to the fact that there are other families that are rejoicing, and if all goes well, they won’t have to live in fear,” said Marco.

“To know that his heart is beating, and that their are new memories being forged out of his heart. I am pissed off that they are not my memories.”

But for Georgie Coghlan, the idea that Australia will accept his organs, but we won’t recognise his marriage, is incomprehensible.

Mamamia previously wrote…

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has apologised to a British man for laws that denied his marriage and compounded his grief after his husband died on their honeymoon.

Last weekend, in Adelaide on the final stop of his Australian honeymoon, David Bulmer-Rizzi tragically and unexpectedly died.

The 32-year-old British citizen fell down a staircase at a friend’s home and fatally cracked his skull.

His husband, Marco Bulmer-Rizzi, told Buzzfeed News he was in bed when he “heard this awful noise and I turned on the light and he was lying at the bottom of the stairs in a blood bath”.

But dealing with the devastating loss of his new husband, a charity worker, was not the only pain the 38-year-old would bear.

Due to archaic laws, Marco was informed his husband’s death certificate would have ‘never married’ as his marital status, which meant Marco would also be denied ‘next of kin’ status and the rights associated with that.

David Bulmer-Rizzi during the couple’s wedding celebrations in Greece. Image via Facebook.

Not only is same-sex marriage not legal in Australia, but three jurisdictions – South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory – do not recognise same-sex marriages legally performed internationally.

David and Marco married last year after five years together.

All of the decisions Marco made around David’s death had to be approved by Marco’s father-in-law, Nigel Bulmer.

“I was completely overlooked,” Marco said.

“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.


“It was outright discrimination. If I didn’t get on with my in-laws, I don’t know that I would have any rights.”

Image via Facebook.

Marco said he asked whether the marital status section on David’s death certificate could be blank, rather than say ‘never married’, but was told: “No, that’s not one of the drop down options on the computer.”

He said the funeral director continued consulting with Mr Bulmer, despite his insistence that Marco was should be the person to make the decisions.

“The first thing David’s father said to them was, ‘Marco is David’s husband. He is the one [to make these decisions].’ He said they shouldn’t talk to him but they kept doing it.”

Mr Bulmer, 60, told Buzzfeed News: “It’s degrading. It demeans my son’s memory and denies their relationship.

“It’s cast them as second-class citizens. No one should ever have to go through what we’ve gone through. We’re at the bottom and somebody has dug a deeper pit.”

Image via Facebook.

But after the story began to gather steam online, Marco recieved a call from the South Australian premier, who wanted to say sorry, and told him he would work to change the law and issue a new death certificate.

“I thank [Mr Wetherill]. I think it’s amazing. It’s so much further than I ever thought last night when I was wondering what I could do,” he told Fairfax.

“My mind is blown away that the premier of South Australia called to apologise. It’s such an acknowledgment, coming from the top of the state.”

The news came as social media lit up, calling  the archaic laws an embarrassment and shame on Australia.

Weatherill said legislation to recognise overseas same-sex marriages would be put before the South Australian parliament by the end of the year.

Several other prominent politicians – including Bill Shorten, Penny Wong and Robert Simms – have used the opportunity to call for marriage equality in Australia.

In the meantime, Marco is  focusing on the one good to come out of his ordeal, that David helped save three others by way of organ donation.

“David’s life gave this gift to three other people, three families who are rejoicing,” he said.

“There’s two children who have their daddy, who won’t wake up tomorrow and think about whether or not David was gay.”

He’s also calling for the British government to intervene and issue a death certificate that recognises his marriage.

He said currently, in the eyes of the Australian government, “I’m nothing”.

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