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2 Men To Be Married On Rose Parade Float; PETA Protesting SeaWorld Float

Protesters against gay marriage have triggered a call to boycott the annual Tournament of Roses Parade.

The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Associations 125TH Tournament of Roses Parade will be held January 1, 2014 in Pasadena, California. Sportscaster Vin Scully will be the Grand Marshal.  Photo/Getty Images: Doug Benc
The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Associations 125TH Tournament of Roses Parade will be held January 1, 2014 in Pasadena, California. Sportscaster Vin Scully will be the Grand Marshal. Photo/Getty Images: Doug Benc

Pasadena was on the verge of bursting into bloom today as the Air Force F-16 Thunderbirds roared overhead, bomb-sniffing dogs walked the streets and hundreds of float-builders readied their flowered creations for the 125th Tournament of Roses Parade.

For the first time, two men will be married on a parade float, watched by many of the 700,000 people in attendance and a U.S. television audience -- Bob Eubanks and Stephanie Edwards will be hosting on KTLA -- of about 40 million. Worldwide, the once quaint, horse-drawn parade is broadcast in about 200 countries.

Forecasters say it will be in the 50s when the parade steps off at 8 a.m. and in the 70s by the time No. 5 Stanford takes on No. 4 Michigan State in the 100th Rose Bowl game. Kickoff is set for 2:10 p.m.

Vin Scully, the voice of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers for the past 63 years, will be the parade's grand marshal and toss the kickoff coin. In the first Rose Bowl, in 1902, Stanford lost to Michigan, 49-0.

Protesters against gay marriage have triggered a call to boycott the parade. And activists from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals plan to demonstrate against SeaWorld and its float entry, The Sea of Surprise, which includes killer whales -- mammals that PETA says should be set free.

Pasadena police are old hands at handling protesters, and their ranks swell to about 1,200 officers this time of year. Still, they are urging people to report unattended bags. No alcohol is allowed along the parade route.

At noon today, parade-goers were to begin staking out sidewalks lining the 5 1/2-mile route down Colorado Boulevard. Forty-eight floats, 20 marching bands and 16 equestrian units are expected to participate. The theme is "Dreams Come True."

"All eyes will be on Pasadena that day," police Chief Phillip Sanchez said at a news conference Monday.

Randy Thomasson, the head of a Sacramento-based pro-family group calling for a boycott of the parade and its sponsors, because two men will be married aboard the AIDS Healthcare Foundation float.

Thomasson said "parents and grandparents" were appalled at what he called a "political stunt forced upon children who are watching."

Michael Weinstein, president of AHF, brushed off the criticism, saying that same-sex marriages were nothing to hide from children and "first and foremost, it's the law of the land in California."

"We're not going to be stopped by the haters and, Number Two, there's no asterisk alongside these marriages," he said, adding same-sex marriages are now legal in 18 states.

Danny Leclair, 42, originally from Canada, and Aubrey Loots, 45 and a native of South Africa, will exchange vows aboard the float. Together, they own Studio DNA Salons, a chain of three hair salons.

AHF officials said the couple will be joined on the float by Sharon Raphael and Mina Meyer, a lesbian couple who have been together for 42 years and were married in California in 2008. --City News Service  

Sew Good December 31, 2013 at 05:25 PM
I'm boycotting because there's a Canadian on that float!
DB December 31, 2013 at 06:01 PM
When the Tournament of Roses wishes to push a political on me, it is time to watch Breaking Bad re-runs.....Of course, then again, I have not watched this parade in 20+ years, so I am sure I will not miss it......
Cindy Sorensen December 31, 2013 at 06:47 PM
Be gay... enjoy your life but stop shoving it down my throat. The straight community does not run 24/7 shoving the fact they are straight down your throats..... respond in kind and you might find it a bit easier to be accepted.
Diana December 31, 2013 at 07:21 PM
I believe in live and let live but having a gay marriage on a Rose Bowl parade float is really pushing it to the limit, only in California would this be allowed. Millions of children will be watching this public display. There is a time and place for everything and this was such a bad choice on the Rose Parade Committee, I will boycott the parade and the channels that are televising it. Enough is enough!!!!!!!!!
DB December 31, 2013 at 07:34 PM
Perhaps we could do a "straight" marriage at next years Gay Pride parade....this way no one feel discriminated against.....In the mean time, VUDU/Netflix will be on my agenda for the morning.....
Cindy Sorensen December 31, 2013 at 11:32 PM
You can't do a "straight" marriage at the Gay Pride parade... the gay community screams "discrimination" at the top of their lungs.... files a lawsuit to stop it and/or be awarded millions of dollars for damage done to their "community" only the GAYS have those kinds of rights. AND IT SUCKS!!!!
AlwaysPO'd January 01, 2014 at 01:04 AM
The bastardation of normal continues.
Jay Boyd January 01, 2014 at 01:00 PM
FYI there was a "straight" marriage in last year's parade and there were no screams of discrimination. STFU
kristin c January 01, 2014 at 01:29 PM
Not the time or the place... tired of their agenda . We didn't watch the spectacle and I feel sorry for the many unsuspecting families who were exposed to this trash.
AlwaysPO'd January 01, 2014 at 02:02 PM
"FYI there was a "straight" marriage in last year's parade and there were no screams of discrimination. STFU" - JBoyd ___________________________________________________ Isn't that what you're attempting to do now?
Cindy Sorensen January 01, 2014 at 07:25 PM
WOW .... trash mouths from the Gay Community I presume!! WONDERFUL EXAMPLE YOU SET!!!! scum
Pauly January 01, 2014 at 07:42 PM
Terrible idea to have a gay marriage in the Rose Parade, Im done with this pc garbage, they have gone too far this time. If I found out my kids were being taught that gay was NORMAL , I would have a very LARGE problem with that. So you gays be gay but don't try to push your perverted lifestyle on me or my kids or serious repurcussions will follow.
lotsahelp January 01, 2014 at 08:07 PM
The Sea world float won an award! I don't know why anyone(straight or gay) would get married on a float. Surrounded by thousands and thousands of strangers who don't care about you or your loved one. And it is hardly a political statement to have a gay ceremony- IT IS LEGAL.

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