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Gay Rights and cremated remains

Gay right issues are at the forefront of a progressive liberal society, I think we all know that. But I didn’t think they would ever cross over with the world of ashes. Well they have.

Marco Bulmer-Rizzi, a British man lost his husband in a tragic accident whilst on holiday in South Australia in January, where same-sex marriage is not recognised.

David, his husband, was cremated in Australia and then Marco Bulmer Rizzi travelled with the ashes to Hong Kong. Gay marriage is not recognised in Hong Kong either and when Marco told them ‘it’s my husband’ (thus he was next of kin), the Hong Kong authorities tried to take the ashes away from him.

‘She wanted to open the box. And I said, “These are human remains. It’s my husband. My husband died while we were in Australia.” She just looked at me and said, “I need to take this away.”

Apparently, Marco kicked up once heck of a stink and refused to hand over the ashes. ‘I felt like I was losing him again,’ he told Buzzfeed. ‘All I wanted was to be able to travel with David’s ashes on me so he wouldn’t have to travel back by himself.’

Eventually staff relented and he was allowed to travel on with them.

‘The government could have simply issued me a letter saying I was David’s next of kin,’ he says [I think they are referring to the British Government here, but I am not sure]. According to the report he is now meeting with the consulate to find out how it can better serve those in a similar situation abroad.

Poor chap, on top of all that tragedy. To have your relationship invalidated in such away, let us hope some good can come of it.

We would suggest if you find yourself in a similar situation it may be wise contacting the consulate in the country of destination ahead of travel, including stop off destinations.

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