A photo of a male Marine kissing his partner at a homecoming in Hawaii is drawing overwhelming support and a few detractors on the Facebook page where it was posted over the weekend.
National Public Radio identified the pair as Sgt. Brandon Morgan and his partner Dalan Wells. Marine Corps Base Hawaii confirmed Morgan is based at Kaneohe Bay.
A homecoming was held Wednesday on base for an advance party from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363, the Lucky Red Lions, which is winding up a deployment to southern Afghanistan.
A Sgt. Brandon Morgan with HMH-363 sent out a holiday video greeting from Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan on Dec. 19 in which he wished his friends and family in Oakdale, Calif. a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Morgan could not be immediately reached for comment.
The Miami Herald’s Gay South Florida blog said it received a Facebook message from Morgan stating, “I’m glad I can be an inspiration to someone. Thank you so very much for sharing my story.”
The photo was posted Saturday on the “Gay Marines” Facebook page, with the description, “Homecoming for a Marine who posts on this page. Semper Fi, brother.”
As of noon today, the Facebook post had received more than 21,000 “Likes,” 4,500 comments, and 4,000 shares with the tally increasing steadily.
The vast majority of the comments have been supportive.
Tim Chung said, “Thank you for your service. Welcome home.”
“You are so brave for doing that, especially on military property. In that setting, wow what a terrific day!” said Abe Johnson.
“I’m just another straight married voter who loves this photo!” said Rachel Goldberg. “Thank you for your service, and your partner’s sacrifices. And welcome home (to an increasingly welcoming country!!).”
Andrew Mayo said, “Thank you for fighting for our country, even when everyone who is in it doesn’t support you.”
One commenter said he was “disgusted” and another said the pair are “atheists,” and the photo “makes me want to wretch up my lunch.”