Published: December 31, 2013
By all accounts, the standout entry in Wednesday’s Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif., will surely be the marriage of two men, Danny Leclair and Aubrey Loots, beaming amid the array of lavishly flowered floats to be viewed on national television and beyond.
This is a first — a newly married same-sex couple highlighting the grand parade. They’ll do so like punctuation marks on the surprisingly rapid rise of same-sex marriage in America. In little more than a year, the number of states allowing same-sex marriage has tripled to 18, following a Federal District Court ruling in Utah.
Opponents of the single-gender nuptial display in the hallowed parade have dished heavy umbrage in petitions and blogs, calling it “unbiblical” and urging a boycott by onlookers. But the tournament executives have said they are pleased that love will triumph on a day when the tournament theme is “Dreams Come True.”
The vows are scheduled to take place aboard a float sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to celebrate victories in the old year — that is, 2013 — including the Supreme Court’s upholding the repeal of California’s Proposition 8 and striking down a basic part of the Defense of Marriage Act.
In 1890, as California was evolving as the cutting-edge state of the nation’s future, little could local promoters foresee what the future might bring as they invented the Tournament of Roses to lure winter-hardened tourists to Pasadena’s balmy climate. “Let’s hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise,” they avowed. It wasn’t long before a football game was added to the fun.
And now, Danny and Aubrey saying I do. The new couple’s float is titled, “Living the Dream: Love Is the Best Protection.” It is hard to disagree as the new year parades forward.