2014 Rose Bowl Parade Will End With Televised Gay Marriage
In the Tournament of Roses Parade held each year on New Year’s Day, giant festive floats made with millions of fresh-cut flowers draw millions of viewers, but this year’s parade will end with a float featuring a much more different theme.
According to ABC News, a play on the parade’s 2014 theme “Dreams Come True,” and sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the float will celebrate same-sex marriage and the role it can play in helping to reduce new HIV infections among gay men.
On New Year’s Day, Aubrey Loots, 42, and Danny Leclair, 45, of Los Angeles, will wed on a giant wedding cake shaped float – a first in the parade’s 125 year history. The couple have been together for 12 years and are hoping to publicly profess their love.
Loots and Leclair attended a same-sex wedding expo in October where they applied for a chance to marry atop the float.
“Having my relationship recognized legally is already a dream come true,” Leclair said in an Aids Healthcare Foundation press release. “To be able to declare my love to the world at large in hopes of inspiring others to live proudly and authentically is an enormous honor.”
To make the ceremony more personal, Leclair said that he will read one of his favorite Nelson Mandela quotes in homage to the South African civil rights leader and his boyfriend who both are from South Africa.
“We’re responsible for changing people’s minds. We need to say whom we love without shame,” Leclair said.