Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Gay Couple Gets Married on Float during Tournament of Roses Parade // Culture Warriors Protest Float Sponsors' "Free Speech" Rights & Launch Boycott!

Danny Leclair and Aubrey Loots of Los Angeles, CA, got married earlier today on the top of a flower-covered float at the Tournament of Roses Parade. The couple had originally planned to have a private low-key wedding, but decided to get married on the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's float because of the underlying message being promoted by the foundation -- the celebration of same-sex marriage and the role that a marriage culture can promote to reduce new HIV infections among gay and bi men.

The grooms were joined on the float by a lesbian minister officiating over the wedding and a married lesbian couple who were married in California back in that narrow period in 2008 immediately prior to Proposition 8's passage. The wedding ceremony itself took place at 9:45 AM PST during the 15-second window which the float was anticipated to pass before television cameras during the live parade event.

This was the first same-sex wedding to take place during the Tournament of Roses Parade, but not the first wedding ever. Two separate opposite-sex couples got married on floats during the Rose Parade during past years -- specifically in 1989 and in 2013!

Karen Grube of San Diego, CA, tried getting the Tournament of Roses to remove the AHF's float from their parade. They were unsuccessful, but still hope to prevent gay weddings from appearing at future Rose Parade events. Grube is concerned that same-sex wedding is still not legally recognized in most states and questions whether or not we'll see pot-smoking in future parades. Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage also jumped into this storyline with worries of children watching men marrying men and then hugging and kissing each other. He even used air-quotes around the word "marrying," so you know he means business.

The ironic part is that Grube and her "Boycott the 2014 Rose Parade" Facebook group cited the whole Phil Robertson/"Duck Dynasty"/A&E situation as a reason for the boycott. I thought that people were upset with A&E for curtailing Phil Robertson's free speech rights? What about the free speech rights of the Tournament of Roses and/or the ADIS Healthcare Foundation and/or Leclair & Loots?

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