Danny Leclear (bearded) and Aubrey Loots were married during the 125th annual Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2014
"We knew that we would like to get married in 2014, but we were not planning anything specifically," Danny Leclair explains.
The couple exchanged platinum Tiffany Infinity Rings.
Together, they own and run Studio DNA Salons and Hair Art & Science Academy. Loots is a Wella Top Artist, and Leclair, whose mother was also a hairstylist, is a business management consultant. "I grew up in salons," he explains. "We think that we were predestined—either that or Freud would have a field day with us."
Leclair proposed to Loots while on a business trip in New York City. While they ate at Madiba, a South African restaurant in Brooklyn that is fashioned after a traditional shabine, with glass bottle chandeliers and corrugated metal siding, he noticed that the back of the menu had Marianne Williamson’s quote that was featured in Nelson Mandela’s inauguration speech. "The quote calls to mankind to realize their full potential; it doesn’t serve God to play small."
The cake-shaped float at the Tournament of Roses Parade was sponsored by AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
The couple both immigrated to the United States in 1993—Leclair from Canada, Loots from South Africa—landing in Los Angeles.
They originally met on a dance floor April 12, 2002 ("just as the dry ice fog cleared," they explain) and had their first official date at Border Grill followed by a long walk on the Santa Monica State Beach during which they had an "amazing philosophical conversation" about the existence of right and wrong.
When asked why they decided to make such a public display of their commitment, Leclair explains: "Aubrey and I have always stood for the greatness of others: It is the mission of our company, it is the intention of our community work, and it is the framework for our relationship. We hope to inspire others to believe that they are worthy of love—gay or straight. We see this as an opportunity to show the world that love is love no matter the form. We look forward to this being a continuation of the conversation of marriage equality while we witness state after state honoring same-sex marriages."