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Some veterans weren’t pleased with the 2014 Rose Parade’s gay marriage float

Danny Leclair and Aubrey Loots get married on a float in the 2014 Tournament of Roses Parade
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

“Two gay hairdressers have won a lottery to have their wedding on a float during the 2014 Rose Parade”Boycott the 2014 Rose Parade

The 2014 Rose Parade included the “Living the Dream: Love Is the Best Protection” float featuring an on-float marriage between Aubrey Loots and Danny Leclair. Protestors were disturbed enough to create “The Boycott the 2014 Rose Parade Facebook” page, which had received over 8000 “likes” by mid-day, January 1.

Veterans were also upset. One Alabama Army veteran (Major, Ret.), who was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, said,

“This is truly disturbing! How much more offensive to Bible-believing Christians can they get? I am afraid the New Year will bring much more of this in-your-face immorality, along with protection and promotion of it by our government. It's a sad day in the decline of our nation.”

Another Alabama veteran (LTC, Ret), also a Vietnam helicopter pilot, concurred with the Major’s words with, “I am afraid you are right.”

Unfortunately, veterans were not surprised with the float on New Year’s Day, 2014. Indeed, they could have foretold the presence of the float based upon two examples that occurred in the U.S. Army just last year.

On February 8, 2013, the Army posted the headline “Fort Bragg gay Soldiers serve openly” on their “Official Homepage of the United States Army”. The story reminded their readers that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell“ slogan (more accurately known as “don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t pursue, and don’t harass”), the official 1993 policy regarding the service of homosexuals in the military, was removed by a law signed by President Obama in 2011. Then, soon after the law was passed, several lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) service members stepped forward to serve as mentors to similar military personnel.

A second headline was even more surprising to some older veterans: “West Point hosts first-ever male same-sex wedding in Military Academy’s history.” They couldn’t believe that two male West Point graduates were being allowed to marry in the Cadet Chapel at the United States Military Academy.

This all came about from a 2011 Pentagon memo that proclaimed chaplains had the right to marry gay couples both “on and off military bases”.

An army veteran (LTC, Ret) from California said, “That’s a new Army field grade commissioned officer? Who would want it in their unit? Not me, that’s for sure.”

Perhaps older veterans are really “old school” because they were raised in a different time. Newer and future veterans, who were raised in a more modern time, might think differently about this issue.

But, then again, maybe not. An Army Staff Sergeant currently stationed in Alaska expressed an opinion that may shared by many veterans:

“Listen! Just do your thing, without bragging, showing off, flamboyantly flaunting, or constantly needing and seeking the approval of others. I, nor anyone else really needs to know about it!”

He succinctly said “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was the best thing for our military: then and now!

Go figure!

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