Gay Marriage in Montreal: How it all began

Posted on August 13th, 2009 by .

Gay marriage is a popular reason for travelers to choose Montreal. Why? Because it is legal in Canada, and Montreal provides an ideal romantic backdrop to the occasion.

But it didn’t always used to be this way. 

We have certain privileges in Canada thanks to committed activists who fought for equality on many levels. Michael Hendricks and Réné Leboeuf are two such trailblazers.

Hendricks and Leboeuf began their legal journey towards gay marriage in 2001 when they filed a suit against the government of Quebec. Hendricks and Leboeuf v. Quebec was a bureaucratic battle (to say the least), but the couple refused to back down.

In March of 2004, the Quebec Court of Appeal delivered its final verdict and ruled that same-sex marriage licenses be issued without delay.

Because of their notoriety, the usual 20-day waiting period required between the request of a license and the wedding was waived for Hendricks and Leboeuf. The couple was married at the Palais de justice de Montréal on April 1 (2004).

Now in 2009, the Hendricks and Leboeuf have been together for 36 years.

I sat down and chatted with Michael about the journey.

In an unabridged 35-minute video interview, Michael talks about his younger days in New York City, the early days of HIV activism, the advantages of Canadian healthcare and what you can do if your nation doesn’t recognize gay marriage.

Take me to the full-length Michael Hendricks interview


In the coming weeks I’ll be featuring more Gay Marriage posts including a step-by-step guide to setting up a ceremony, as well as some recommendations on wedding planners and places to do the deed!

If you have certain questions, feel free to pose them in the comments section. Or send me message on Facebook!

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