The South Australian government is facing serious heat after denying a grieving husband his basic rights.
After five years together, Marco and David Bulmer-Rizzi, finally married last year in two romantic ceremonies in London and Santorini.
Yet, their marriage was tragically short-lived, after David suddenly passed away while the couple were on their honeymoon in Adelaide.
It was the final week of their honeymoon when David fell down stairs at a friend's home and struck his head on the ground.
"I went to bed and David was to follow me shortly,” Marco told Buzzfeed. “He was just reading his Kindle. I woke up 45 minutes later and heard this awful noise, and I turned on the light and he was lying at the bottom of the stairs in a bloodbath.”
David suffered a cracked skull and brain swelling, leading to his death in hospital a few days later.
Yet, in the face of pure heartbreak, Marco has been subjected to further trauma after the South Australian government refused to recognise the couple's marriage as legal.
Marco is devastated that David's official death certificate reads "never married", ultimately stripping Marco of his status as his husband's next-of-kin.
This means Marco is not permitted to make any decisions regarding his husband's passing - with all matters referred to David's 60-year-old father, Nigel Bulmer.
Fortunately, Nigel supports his son-in-law's right to be seen as equal in the eyes of the law.
"It’s degrading," Nigel remarked. "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."
Marco wrote to the British government, requesting they intervene.
In the meantime, South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill, apologised to the family and has pledged to introduce legislation to recognise international same sex marriages by the end of the year.
Sadly, it will not arrive in time for Marco - who has been denied any say in the processes following his husband's passing. Despite Nigel's insistence authorities should refer to Marco for decisions, officials continue to ignore Marco's presence.
Fortunately, with Nigel's co-operation, David's organs were able to be donated. They were received by a 40-year-old father of two who had been on the transplant list for 1,250 days, Buzzfeed reports.
While there is yet to be any word from the British government, we only hope these tragedies are rectified legally so Marco's full rights can be realised.