No one can fail to be moved by the tragic set of events that befell Marco Bulmer-Rizzi whose husband, David, died in an accident whilst the newly-wed couple enjoyed their honeymoon in Australia.
Marco’s tragedy was compounded when the South Australian death certificate refused to recognise their marriage and recorded that David was ‘never married’. This is because there is no legislation permitting same-sex marriage in Australia. The institution of marriage is still reserved for heterosexuals. Section 5 of the Marriage Act of the Commonwealth states that marriage means “the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life". The Act came into force in 1961 when the concept of modern marriage was a heterosexual union where the parties pledged monogamy and permanency in their relationship.
Today, some Australian states afford a measure of recognition to same-sex relationships but, unfortunately for Marco, not in South Australia.
In England and Wales, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 provides that marriages of same sex couples outside England and Wales that are valid may be legally recognised.
On 10th February, Woodfines Solicitors will be hosting a legal forum for the LGBTQ community addressing legal issues that affect the community; including family law, divorce, civil partnerships and marriage, employment, discrimination in the workplace, wills, powers of attorney and more. The forum will be relaxed with the opportunity to socialise over a drink before and after. To find out more about legal rights within the LGBTQ community and ask any questions you may have, please contact Nicola on firstname.lastname@example.org to book your free space to attend.