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Couple's Recreation Of Famous WWII Kiss Is Stirring Controversy

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

There is a famous photo from the end of World War II.

You've probably seen it many times.


It shows a 21 year old dental assistant who happened to be out in Times Square, New York City being kissed by a Navy sailor as the news of the end of the deadliest war in human history broke to the public.

The photo has been famous for close to eighty years and has spawned many recreations and parodies, one of which is now causing a controversy across the United States.

First, let's take a look at the original piece:


The famous VJ Day kiss.Photo via Wikimedia Commons

"V-J" day, as the day was called, stands for "Victory in Japan" day. According to The Smithsonian, Greta Jane Friedman, the woman pictured in the photo, said she was suddenly spun around by a complete stranger who then proceeded to lock lips with her.

Friedman said of the kiss:

"I felt that he was very strong. He was just holding me tight. I'm not sure about the kiss... it was just somebody celebrating,"
"It wasn't a romantic event. It was just an event of 'thank god the war is over.'"

So then, it might be puzzling that a consenting couple recreating the photo might be stirring controversy, no? Well, take a look at the photo and all of your confusion will be assuaged:


Yup.

The controversy is because they are a same-sex couple.

Sailor Bryan Woodington, 33, is here depicted smooching Kenneth, 30, his husband of one year.

"When I saw Bryan, I lost all control and ran over to him," Kenneth told Yahoo! Lifestyle.

Reportedly, the couple won the lottery to perform a fun little rite of passage called the "ceremonial first kiss," a "naval tradition that allows one lucky sailor to disembark first and greet his or her loved one."

Bryan told Kenneth to come wearing all white so that they could recreate the photo.

Unfortunately, some people have taken to flooding the Facebook post with cruel comments about the couple.


Photo via Naval Station Mayport//Facebook




Photo via Naval Station Mayport//Facebook



Photo via Naval Station Mayport//Facebook


Photo via Naval Station Mayport//Facebook


Photo via Naval Station Mayport//Facebook


Photo via Naval Station Mayport//Facebook

The Mayport local news station, News 4 Jax, were also met with several unexpectedly nasty comments when they interviewed the couple.

Comments included:

"How sad that your station has dropped to such a low as to show a gay couple kissing on your newscast"
"I'll never watch your news again!!!! So long, News4Jax."
"I thought this was a 'family friendly' news channel."

Luckily, people are showing up on the Facebook post in greater numbers to show some beautiful support.


Photo via Naval Station Mayport//Facebook


Photo via Naval Station Mayport//Facebook


Photo via Naval Station Mayport//Facebook


Photo via Naval Station Mayport//Facebook


Photo via Naval Station Mayport//Facebook

And the support for the husbands rang stronger than the hate.


Photo via Naval Station Mayport//Facebook


Photo via Naval Station Mayport//Facebook


Photo via Naval Station Mayport//Facebook


Photo via Naval Station Mayport//Facebook

The husbands remain unperturbed either way.

Kenneth said:

"There are people who see the beauty in it. As for those who don't, have a nice day."
"We're showing our love for each other—we're not hurting anyone I'm just a spouse waiting for his sailor."
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