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Encyclopedia > Réal Ménard

Réal Ménard (born May 13, 1962) is a Canadian politician, representing the Quebec riding of Hochelaga for the Bloc Québécois. May 13 is the 133rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (134th in leap years). ... 1962 was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ... This article describes the Canadian province. ... This page refers to a Riding as a unit in local government. ... Hochelaga is the name of a federal electoral district in Quebec, Canada. ... The Bloc Québécois is a federal political party in Canada that is primarily devoted to promoting sovereignty for the province of Quebec. ...

He was the second Canadian Member of Parliament to come out as gay. (The first was Svend Robinson.) The Parliament of Canada (in French: le Parlement du Canada) is Canadas legislative branch, seated at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario. ... For people whose family name is Gay see the list of people by name. ... Svend Robinson Svend Johannes Robinson (born March 4, 1952) is a Canadian politician and prominent activist for gay rights. ...

Ménard's outing in 1994 caught most people by surprise--himself included. It happened right on the floor of the House of Commons. Former Liberal MP and social conservative Roseanne Skoke spoke against legislation to include sexual orientation as a category in a human rights bill, observing that "Homosexuality is not natural, it is immoral and it is undermining the inherent rights and values of our Canadian families and it must not and should not be condoned." Ménard got so angry he stood up and began a tirade of his own, and Robinson demanded she retract her words. Ménard never actually said he was gay, but by the time he was done berating Skoke everyone had pretty much got the message. "I knew I wanted to come out at some point," Ménard says. "I just hadn't planned to do it right then."

Ménard is currently gearing up for yet another vote on gay rights in the next session of the Commons. His private members' bill, which calls for the government to change the definition of "spouse" in all federal laws to include same-sex partnerships (marriage law, tax law, everything), will be debated this fall. "I fully expect it will be put to a vote," he says.

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