Ex-Sabbatical Officer’s marriage recognised

The same-sex marriage has now been legally recognised by the state of South Australia

Sophie Norris
15th February 2016

Newcastle University graduate David Bulmer-Rizzi, who died on January 16, has had his same-sex marriage legally recognised by South Australia.

The 32 year-old died whilst on his honeymoon in Adelaide last month.

He suffered severe head injuries after falling down the stairs of a house that he was staying in with his husband had to celebrate their honeymoon.

The ex-Education Officer, who worked at the Student’s Union between 2005 and 2006, married Marco Bulmer-Rizzi in South London last June, following ten years together.

In an interview with Anna Foster for BBC Newcastle, Marco said: “He was very outspoken, very loud.

“We grew with one another.

“We didn’t get married until the Same Sex Marriage act was passed. We didn’t just want a civil partnership.

“Marriage meant the recognition that we were each other’s family.”

Senior Advisor Jill Lincoln said: “David was heavily involved in the Student’s Union.

“I’ve never met such a dedicated person. He stood up for what he believed in and was a very big character.

“He made a dull day shine.”

Jill continued: “Everyone who ever knew him remembered him.

“He argued like mad at the Student Council and was involved with the SHAG week campaign.”

Same-sex marriage is not currently legalised in Australia however some states do recognise such marriages if they have taken place abroad. South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territories do not currently have this legalisation.

Following protests from family, friends and the wider public, the South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill contacted David’s family to inform them that his death certificate would be issued to legally recognise his marriage.

It previously stated that he was ‘never married’.

Discussing his experience, he stated: “As far as they were concerned I was nothing.

“It came from nowhere. We were recognised in law as a family and they were denying that.

David donated some of his organs.

Marco added: “The transplant coordinator told me that David’s heart went to a man who had been waiting for 1250 days and who was attached to a pump in order to live.

“I was told about his liver that went to a man in his forties with two young children.

“I kept thinking that those children could wake up in the morning knowing that something magical had happened.”

On 12th March, the university will be hosting an event to celebrate David’s life and raise money for Young Minds, the UK’s leading charity for the mental health of young people.

Image: Marco Bulmer-Rizzi

Image: Marco Bulmer-Rizzi

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