During the 125th New Year’s Day Rose Parade this year in Pasadena, on a giant wedding-cake-shaped float, two gay men will be married. Danny Leclair and Aubrey Loots, both hairstylists who own Studio DNA Salons, a L.A. salon chain, were selected from a lottery held at a same-sex-wedding expo earlier this year, and will be riding a float sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
“One of the things we’re really excited about is we’re standing on the shoulders of thousands of men and women who came before us in this fight for marriage equality,” Leclair says.
Leclair and Loots’s wedding is the first gay wedding at the Rose Parade, but it’s not the first wedding at the parade, period: A ceremony in 1989 was viewed by nearly 500,000 people at the event and millions on television.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation president Michael Weinstein says that the wedding fits with the float’s theme, “Love is the Best Protection,” and argues that legitimizing gay relationships and encouraging commitment from gay men will make them safer from risks such as AIDS.