PASADENA (CBSLA.com) — When Danny LeClair popped the question to his boyfriend, Aubrey Loots, he had only one more question for him: “Do you want to get married on a Rose Bowl float?”
For the first time in Rose Parade history, a same-sex couple will be married atop a float as it cruises down Colorado Boulevard New Year’s Day.
LeClair and Loots met 12 years ago in what each describe as love at first site. They say they’re honored to have so many people be witness to their ceremony.
“Thousands of people have been marching towards marriage equality and this day is just a momentous occasion where we get to celebrate those efforts and honor that achievement,” LeClair told CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Melanie Woodrow.
The float is constructed out of flowers to look like a wedding cake. It will be one of 45 floats participating in the 125th Rose Parade.
This year’s theme is “Dreams Come True,” something Loots and LeClair agree is happening for them.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is sponsoring the float and hopes to raise awareness of the disease. The float’s theme is “Living the Dream: Love Is the Best Protection.”
“AIDS Healthcare Foundation is about love is the ultimate protection. We’ve taken it to love saves lives. This is about love, across the world, no boundaries. We’re celebrating love,” Loots said. “This is also an opportunity, for us, to give a voice to people who don’t have a platform like this to express their love, in this country and many other countries, too.”
Millions of people worldwide watch the Rose Parade each year.
“I’m extremely proud of both of them,” said LeClair’s mother Nouhad. “I’m very honored to have Aubrey as a second son.”
But not everyone has been supportive.
Parade organizers have received phones calls with threats to boycott the parade.
“We’re not dissuaded or discouraged. We’re absolutely grateful that we can be part of this conversation and really educate people,” LeClair said.
“We’re focused in love and standing in love, and that is why we’re standing on top of this giant cake,” Loots said.
The grooms say they’ll don “handsome” Ted Baker suits as they get ready to step in front of “80 millions of [their] closest friends.”
They’ll be joined on the float by a lesbian couple who have been together 42 years, five of those spent married.