In 2004: a first gay couple got married in a civil marriage in Quebec

On this morning of 1er April 2004, as confirmed by the host of Noon time Michaëlle Jean, there were a lot of people at the Montreal Municipal Court where a civil marriage ceremony was being celebrated that would go down in history.

Recognized homosexual couples

Report by journalist Luc Lapierre on the civil union marriage of Michael Hendricks and René Leboeuf

The report from journalist Luc Lapierre, who attended the event, recalls the enormous social impact that the marriage of Michael Hendricks and René Leboeuf has for same-sex couples in Quebec.

As the president of Gai Listen, Laurent McCutcheon, points out, Quebec same-sex spouses now have the choice of accessing the institution of marriage without discrimination.

There is now legal equality, he adds.

A long-term battle

If Michael Hendricks and René Leboeuf were able to get married, it was because a few days earlier a small legal revolution had taken place in Quebec.

Report from journalist Catherine Kovacs on the refusal by the Quebec Court of Appeal to hear an appeal on the validity of marriage by civil union for same-sex couples in the province. Céline Galipeau hosts Le Téléjournal/Le Point

On March 19, 2004, as recalled in this report by journalist Catherine Kovacs presented to the Téléjournal/Le Point, The Quebec Court of Appeal unanimously decides to refuse to hear an appeal filed by the Catholic League for Human Rights.

This appeal sought to declare invalid a law adopted in June 2002 by the government of Quebec.

In June 2002, Law 84 created a new marital institution also accessible to homosexual couples.

It is this law 84 which allowed Theo Wouters and Roger Thibault to form a civil union in July 2002. (new window)

Quebec is then, with Ontario and British Columbia, one of the three Canadian provinces where same-sex spouses can legally marry.

Catherine Kovacs concludes in her review that while same-sex couples have won a battle, they have not necessarily won the war.

A victory would only become complete if the Canadian federal government legally permitted same-sex marriage across the country.

However, between 1995 and 2003, the House of Commons rejected a motion and bills presented by deputies Réal Ménard and Svend Robinson which would authorize the marriage of same-sex spouses.

However, on July 20, 2005, the government of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien joined a movement that was in the spirit of the times.

Bill C-38, which legalizes same-sex marriages in Canada, is officially enacted.

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