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Group Calls For Rose Parade Boycott Over Planned Same-Sex Marriage Ceremony On Float

PASADENA ( — A Sacramento-based group has called for a boycott of the 100th Tournament of Roses Parade because two men are scheduled to be married aboard the AIDS Healthcare Foundation float.

Danny Leclair, 42, originally from Canada, and Aubrey Loots, 45, from South Africa will exchange vows live aboard the float during the parade.

Randy Thomasson, the head of, claimed that "parents and grandparents" were appalled at what he is calling a "political stunt, forced upon children who are watching."

Thomasson protests that children will be getting the message that "homosexual behavior is good and normal, when it's not biologically based, results in a high rate of HIV/AIDS and other STDs..."

The group, which bills itself as "your pro-family leader, standing strong for moral virtues for the common good", urged people on Monday not to attend the parade and not to watch it on television. Furthermore, the group is hoping people will complain to parade officials, as well as sponsors.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein, meanwhile, said that he was well aware that some groups would not be content with the idea of two men being married in front of such a large audience.

"First and foremost, it's the law of the land in California, based on the actions of the Supreme Court," Weinstein said.

Weinstein added that AHF was not sponsoring the wedding "to make a political statement, but to celebrate a historic movement forward."

Weinstein also said that same-sex marriages were nothing to hide from children.

"We're not going to be stopped by the haters and Number Two, there's no asterisk alongside these marriages," Weinstein said. "This is the world we live in today."

It is estimated that about 58 million Americans are expected to watch the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day 2014.

AHF officials say that Leclair and Loots will be accompanied on the float by Sharon Raphael and Mina Meyer, a lesbian couple who have been together for 42 years and were eventually married in 2008 in California.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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