Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lesbian Navy Officers Share "First Kiss"

A kiss can certainly speak volumes!

Two Navy officers on Tuesday, Dec. 20, became the first women to share a “first kiss” after Petty Officer Second Class Marissa Gaeta descended from the USS Oak Hill in Virginia Beach, Va. She and her partner, Petty Officer Third Class Citlalic Snell, shared a quick kiss in the rain on the dock.

President Barack Obama on Dec. 22, 2010, signed a bill that repealed the military's ban on openly gay and lesbian servicemembers. 'Don't ask, don't tell' officially ended on Sept. 20, but gay and lesbian servicemembers still face challenges.

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and Chadbourne and Parke filed a lawsuit in federal court in October on behalf of six gay and lesbian servicemembers and two veterans who allege the federal Defense of Marriage Act forces the military to deny them spouses benefits. Transgender servicemembers remain unable to serve openly. And former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and other Republican presidential candidates have said they would reinstate the Clinton-era policy if elected president.

"What a difference a year makes," said SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis in a press release that acknowledges the first anniversary of the president signing the DADT repeal bill into law. "But when it comes to achieving full equality in America's military for every qualified patriot who serves--regardless of sexual orientation--we are not there yet."

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