U.S. Sailor Kenneth Woodington won a raffle to get the first kiss with his husband Bryan upon disembarking USS The Sullivans in Jacksonville, Florida when it returned from a seven month deployment to the Persian Gulf and Europe last week.
The kiss was stunningly executed, with a dip meant to mimic the famous 1945 V-J Day kiss in Times Square.
News4Jax broadcast the kiss and later reported (see below) on the enraged hate mail they received from some viewers, some of whom screeched “How sad that your station has dropped to such a low as to show a gay couple kissing on your newscast” and “I thought this was a ‘family friendly’ news channel” and “I’ll never watch your news again!!!! So long, News4Jax.”
The photo of the couple was posted to Naval Station Mayport’s page as well where it showed sentiment about the kiss was much more positive with dozens of positive comments and messages of support.
Said one commenter: “This is digsuting. (sic) The weather should be ashamed of itself looking all gloomy.”
Another remarked: “This makes me sick to my stomach. White shoes after Labor Day”
Another added: “Times have changed when a Gay sailor can welcome home his partner without fear. Welcome home. Life is short love whoever you want to love❤️”
Said Bryan of Kenneth: “I wanted to give him nothing but love and care and understanding right out the gate, so I think we just fell for each other really hard and we both knew what we really wanted.”
Of the negative comments, he added: “My grandmother always taught me, she said, ‘You know some people have a different life and this is how they are and you just have to treat them as such, and treat them with kindness and respect.'”
Watch News4Jax’s report: