Protests Flare Against Rose Parade Same-Sex Marriage Float
Some people are not happy that history will be made this New Years’ Day when the first same-sex couple will be married on a float at the Rose Bowl Parade.
On the float sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, “Living the Dream: Love Is the Best Protection,” The wedding—of Danny Leclair, 45, and Aubrey Loots, 42, will take place at about 9:30 a.m. Leclair said, “The honor means the world to me. Thousands of people have been marching toward the day that we have marriage equality. This day is just a momentous occasion where we get to celebrate those efforts and honor that achievement.”
His fiancée Loots affirmed that this is not just about honoring same-sex marriage but that there is a bigger purpose. “AIDS Healthcare Foundation is about love is the ultimate protection. We are taking it to ‘Love Saves Lives.’ This is about love saves life across the world, no boundaries. This is giving a voice to those who don’t have a platform like this. We are so honored to express our love across the world.”
Yet the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Assn. has received complaints from people not in favor of using the Rose Bowl as a platform to proselytize for gay marriage. The Rose Bowl Facebook page received posts exhibiting anger, calling the wedding "unbiblical" and "highly offensive." One responder to Facebook said, “I can't think of many things LESS appropriate for families and especially children. It’s completely the wrong venue for a stunt like this.”
A new Facebook page has been created that is calling to “Boycott the 2014 Rose Parade.” The page has received over 4,700 “likes” as of the time of this publication. One comment read “Gay ‘marriage’ is still illegal in over 30 states. Why would the Tournament of Roses promote something illegal like that?”
The float was produced to celebrate key triumphs for same-sex marriage advocates in 2013. Most notably, the Supreme Court decision upholding the repeal of California's Proposition 8 and striking down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act have been hailed as cornerstone victories for proponents of gay marriage. Ged Kenslea, Foundation President, said that, "By showing the dream of lesbians and gay men fulfilled, the float is perfect with this year’s Rose Parade theme of 'Dreams Come True.'”