Gay Couple Share Ceremonial First Kiss at Naval Homecoming

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A couple married for a year embraced and kissed Friday for the first time in months after a long Navy deployment as a crowd at Naval Station Mayport cheered and cameras recorded the moment.

The ceremonial first kiss is a part of every naval homecoming, but because the one as the USS The Sullivans returned from the Middle East with 300 sailors aboard was a same-sex couple, so this one got a lot of attention and significant backlash.

The first kiss is decided by lottery. Sailors’ spouses donate to a good cause to enter a raffle.

Kenneth Woodington won, and when his husband, sailor Bryan Woodington walked off the gangway, they locked lips for the first time in seven months. (Photo courtesy US Navy)

“I was excited and I could not wait for it to happen,” Bryan said. “I knew I was going to dip him.”

“When he got off the ship, I lost all control, I just dropped everything and I just ran,” Kenneth said.While the kiss was greeted by cheers at the base, News4Jax got jeers. Viewers bombarded the station with phone calls and emails objecting to the decision to show the kiss.

To find out what they had to say, click here

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