Micheline Anne Hélène Montreuil and her fights
Micheline Anne ready for fighting
|As you know, I work, teach,
study, practise law and live under the name of «Micheline Montreuil».
Since November 1997, many things have happened in my life.
It was the beginning of the :
Fights of Micheline Anne
Registrar of civil status - VICTORY
Sometime, I have the feeling that I am like the captain of a beautiful dismasted sailboat with broken sails on the ocean with 30 meters waves, a wind of 200 kilometers and some water in the hold.
It is hard to held the helm but I will pass through this difficult situation.
In November 1997, I have tried, for the first time, to modify my birth's certificate in asking to the Registrar of civil status, the person who is in charge of the modifications of name in the Province of Quebec, the modification of my birth's certificate to add the first name "Micheline" on it.
In March 1998, the Registrar has said "No" and adding that my driver's licence and my passport were always under my male name.
So, I have asked for a new driver's licence and a new passport under the name of "Micheline Montreuil" and I have succeeded to obtain them.
After that, I have asked, for the second time, to to the Registrar of civil status the modification of my birth's certificate to add the first name "Micheline" on it but he answers me again "No" in telling dans a male person is not allowed to bear a female name.Meanwhile, the Office in charge of the issuing of driver's licences has decided that its employees have done two errors when they have issued a driver's licence under the name of "Micheline" because my birth's certificate had not been modified.
So the question was : Who must modify my documents first : the Registrar of civil status or the Office in charge of the issuing of driver's licences? It is a little bit like the question : what was in first, the egg or the chicken?
In September 1997, the superior Court of Quebec has decided that the Office in charge of the issuing of driver's licences is right to change back my driver's licence and that the Registrar of civil status must modify the birth's certificate first and that he has not the power to force me to have my driver's licence modified first.
This judgment has been published in the two biggest newspapers in Quebec city and I am now the local mediatic star of all media.
During the following hours, I was interviewed live on three radio networks and three television networks about this fight; every reporter in Quebec city wished to talk live with Micheline.
I was the only guest to a live public affairs program during 40 minutes broadcasted from coast to coast in Canada on the French network RDI (the equivalent of CNN in U.S.A. or CBC Newsworld in English Canada), 10 minutes live on the prime time news of the French Network TQS (the equivalent of Global in Canada and CBS in U.S.A.) and 5 minutes on the prime time news of the French Network TVA (the equivalent of CTV in Canada and ABC in U.S.A.). Obviously, I was dressed with one of my beautiful but very classic dresses like a business lady.
I was also the only guest to a live program during two hours on the prime time news of the French Radio station CHIK-FM and I have answered live to many questions from people acroos the province of Quebec.
I must tell you something : there is a huge tide on the ocean of transvestite, transgender and transexual people since these events.
Now, many things are moving very fast around me.
If you wish to know my feelings, I am now like the captain of a beautiful dismasted sailboat with broken sails on the ocean with 30 meters waves, a wind of 200 kilometers and some water in the hold. Nevertheless, I am still holding the helm and I am trying to pass through this difficult situation.
Trust me, it is not funny but because it is now so public, I have decided to continue this battle in public with all my energy and my legal knowledge.
So, the next step, was to contest the decision of the Registrar of civil status in front of the Court Superior.
When I have pleaded in front of the Court Superior of Quebec for my change of name, the attorney of the Registrar of civil status has said to the court that the court must reject my appel because :
1. Micheline does not exist,
2. The court has not really the power to change the decision of the Registrar of civil status and anyway,
3. The Registrar of civil status can do no wrong like the old proverb "The King can do no wrong".
However, the judge does not allow me to add the first name of "Micheline" on my birth's certificate even if he recognizes that I use it daily and that I use it for all my official affairs because he has decided that a first name has now a sex : male, female or ambiguous.
So, I have decided to go to the Court of Appeal because it is written nowhere that first names must have a sex.
After this decision, I have had again a full coverage on radio, television and newspaper and many interview across Canada. I was also the full front page and a full inside page on the Journal de Quebec and the Journal de Montreal, the two greatest newspapers in Quebec city and Montreal.
Furthermore, I have appeared on all the main talkshows or public affairs programs in French on all networks, at least one time a month since September 1998.
Since November 1998, I have my own programme on radio every Saturday morning from 9:00 to 10:30 entitled "Les refrains de Micheline" on CKIA-FM 88,3 in Quebec city. In this programme, I speak for one third of the time and two thirds of the time is French songs.
So, I am really now a real covergirl.
Many other girls have also called me to support me.
In December 1998, I have deposed my legal arguments at the registry of the Court of Appeal.
In January 1999, the attorney of the Registrar of civil status has asked to the Court of Appeal to dismiss my appeal because my appeal is "futile" but, after having heard me, the three judges of the Court of Appeal have decided unanimously that my case present many interesting points of law and that the Court of Appeal must hear my case.
In April 1999, I have pleaded in front the Court of Appeal to obtain a priority hearing in telling to the Court that my case is a "matter of public order" and that the powers of the Registrar of civil status must be the object of a full examen by the Court of Appeal to see if the Registrar of civil status has used correctly his discretionary powers. The Court of Appeal has granted my request and has decided that my appeal will be heard at the earliest available date, that means at the beginning of September 1999.
On, Monday September 13, Micheline has given her first course as a woman at University of Quebec in Rimouski or UQAR as a female professor in the Department of Biology, Chemistry and Science of Health in medical responsibility; it is another barrier that I have broken down.
On Tuesday September 21, I have pleaded in front of the Court of Appeal.
1. Nothing in the law forbid a male to bear a female name. So, if nothing in the law forbid that, a male is allowed to bear a female name.
2. If a male bears a female name, it will not be a source of confusion for people about his identity because on his birth certificate, on his driver's licence and on all other documents, the sexe "male" will be always indicated. In French and in many other languages, some first name are use by both men and women. So, this is not a source of confusion.
3. It is true that my driver's licence and my medicare card are still under my former name but they will stay in that way because the law and the regulations that apply to these documents stipulate that the first name that may appear on these documents must appear first on the birth certificate. So, it is illegal for the Registrar of civil status and the Superior Court to oblige me to change first my driver's licence and my medicare card because it is impossible. So the Registrar of civil status and the Superior Court are not allowed to consider these documents as an evidence of not using the first name of "Micheline" because the birth certificate must be changed first.
4. It is true that I do not use generally my name of "Micheline" when I am obliged to use a document issued on the base of the birth certificate like my driver's licence and my medicare card and, consequently, as the Court of Appeal has said previously, the Registrar of civil status and the Superior Court are not allowed to consider these documents as an evidence of not using the first name of "Micheline" because the birth certificate must be changed first.
5. Bearing a female name for a male is not against the "Public Order" because there is no provision in the law against that.
6. The Registrar
of civil status must comply with section 58 of the Civil Code of Quebec.
He must check if I fulfil the requirements of section 58 of the Civil Code
of Quebec and if I do, he must add the first name of "Micheline" on my
However, the Court of Appeal, has ruled that a person who asked for a change of name, must generally use her new name during an enough long period of time to show to the Court that she bears her new name generally and that she uses it as her regular name. The Court of Appeal has ruled that the lengh of this period of time must be at least five years. The Court of Appeal has noted that the evidence shows that I use my first name of "Micheline" since 1986 but this same evidence does not show a general use since at least five years.
So, even if the is no legal obstacles in front of him for adding the first name of "Micheline" on her birth certificate, the Court of Appeal has rejected her appeal because she was not able to establish a general use during at least five years.
After a discussion with a member of the staff of the Office of the Registrar of civil status, this person told me that I will have to wait at least fifteen or twenty more before the Registrar of civil status will change my birth's certificate. I think that it is a kind of reprisals and I have decided to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
The clerk of the Supreme Court of Canada will submit the "demand" and the "answer" of the Registrar of civil status to a bench of three judges to decide if the Supreme Court of Canada will accept to hear my case or will refuse to hear my case. The Court does not hear the parties; the judges of the Court just read the "demand" and the "answer".
The Supreme Court of Canada will accept
to hear my case if the three judges think :
In all cases, the Supreme Court of Canada never gives the reasons why the Court accept or not to hear a case.
Usually, the Supreme Court of Canada receive 400 demands of authorization of appeal a year and grant 80 demands.
At my own point of view, I think that my case is important for the public and there are many important questions of law. Also, there is no precedent and this is the occasion for the Supreme Court of Canada to write history and to protect the rights of a minority.
On June 22, 2000, the Honorables Claire L'Heureux-Dubé, Michel Bastarache et Louis LeBel of the Supreme Court of Canada reject my "Demand of authorization to appeal" under number 27621; the Honorable Claire L'Heureux-Dubé is dissidenting.
On July 19, 2000, I depose a petition to the Court of appeal asking the retractation of the judgment of November 1, 1999.
On September 11, 2000, the Honorables Michel Proulx, Jacques Delisle et France Thibault of the Court of Appeal hear my petition.
On September 11, 2000, the Honorable Michel Proulx, in the name of the Court of Appeal rules against me.
On September 12, 2000, I ask, for the third time, to to the Registrar of civil status the modification of my birth's certificate to add the first name "Micheline" on.
On January 15, 2001, the Registrar of civil status gives a judgment under the number 2000 1286 rejecting again my petition.
On February 12, 2001, I deposit a second petition in Superior Court asking to the court to reverse the judgment 2000 1286 of January 15, 2001 under the number 200-05-014594-019.
On April 12, 2001, the Honorable Gérard LeBel of the Superior Court hear this petition.
On May 16, 2001, the Honorable Gérard LeBel of the Superior Court rules against me.
On June 13, 2001, I go back to the Court of Appeal under number 200-09-003658-017.
On September 23, 2002, the Honorables Thérèse Rousseau-Houle, Jacques Delisle et Benoît Morin hear my appeal.
On November 7, 2002, the Honorables Thérèse Rousseau-Houle, Jacques Delisle et Benoît Morin rule in my favor, add the first name Micheline on my birth certificate and allow me the costs against the Registrar of civil status.
During the next few weeks, I have gained back my driver's licence, my medicare card, my Member of the Bar of Quebec card and my right to vote under the name of Micheline Montreuil.
This is the end of a long battle that has
been extended from September 1997 to Januray 2003; five years and five
months but this battle is now over.
Micheline Anne against the College François-Xavier-Garneau
at the Halloween party
|In December 1997, I have
lost my job as a teacher in College François-Xavier-Garneau in Quebec
city where I teached law since 1987 because the human ressources managers
have told me that someone has seen me dressed as a woman in a shopping
center and at an Halloween party.
I have deposit a grievance and it is still under hearing.
I have had an hearing in front of a referee, the Superior Court and in front of the Court of Appeal.
On Monday, April 29, 2002, three judges of the Court of Appeal of Quebec have ruled in my favor and against the College François-Xavier-Garneau. They have invalidated the decision of the referee and the judgment of the Superior Court.
It is a great victory for human rights and I hope that the College will decide that I may come back as a teacher.
The case went down to the arbitrator and, on Februarry 18, 2005, he rules against me again.
I went back to the Superior Court and on November 1rst, 2005, the Court rules in my favor.
Now, the College François-Xavier-Garneau
went back to the Court of Appeal of Quebec and we wait for a new hearing.
is not the end, nor the beginning of the end
but it is certainly the end of the beginning.
Sir Winston Spencer Leonard Churchill
Prime minister of the United Kingdom
Extract from a speech to the House of Commons
September 1940 at the end of the Battle of Britain
Micheline Anne Hélène Montreuil
Micheline Anne Hélène Montreuil