Same-sex marriage in Quebec

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Legal status of same-sex unions
  1. Not performed in Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten
  2. Neither performed nor recognized in Niue, Tokelau and the Cook Islands
  3. Neither performed nor recognized in Northern Ireland, the dependency of Sark and six of the fourteen overseas territories
  4. Neither performed nor recognized in American Samoa and many tribal jurisdictions with the exception of federal recognition benefits
  5. When performed in Mexican states that have legalized same-sex marriage
  6. When performed in the Netherlands proper
  7. If performed before 1 June 2018
  8. Registration schemes open in all jurisdictions except Hualien County, Penghu County, Taitung County and Yunlin County

* Not yet in effect
+ Automatic deadline set by judicial body for same-sex marriage to become legal

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Same-sex marriage has been legal in Quebec since March 19, 2004. Quebec became the third Canadian province (after Ontario and British Columbia) and the fifth jurisdiction in the world to open marriage to same-sex couples.

Court ruling[edit]

On March 19, 2004, the Quebec Court of Appeals ruled similarly to the Ontario and British Columbia courts, upholding Hendricks and Leboeuf v. Quebec and ordering that it take effect immediately.[1] The couple who brought the suit, Michael Hendricks and René Leboeuf, immediately sought a marriage licence; the usual 20-day waiting period was waived, and they were wed on April 1 at the Palais de justice de Montréal.

The Quebec decision meant that more than two-thirds of the Canadian population were living in provinces where same-sex marriage is legal. Subsequent cases, as well as federal legislation, have expanded this number to cover the entire country.

Provincial legislation[edit]

Civil unions[edit]

In 2002, the National Assembly of Quebec unanimously legalized civil unions for both same-sex and opposite-sex partners.[2] The law included the right for couples in civil unions to adopt children jointly.


In November 2004, the Marriage Act was amended by replacing the words "husband and wife" with "spouses".[3] Quebec became the first province in Canada to bring its laws in line with the legalisation of same-sex marriage and add a gender-neutral definition of spouse in its marriage laws.


External links[edit]