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You can kiss it goodbye: Photo of Marine kissing his male partner a sign of the times, writes Pitts


A few days ago, a U.S. Marine returned to the States after six months in Afghanistan. Spotting his new honey among the people waiting, he rushed forward and planted an enthusiastic kiss — their first kiss, as it turns out. A friend snapped a picture and posted it on Facebook.

And all heck broke loose.

Under other circumstances, it would have been an event noteworthy only for being ordinary, a scene we’ve seen played out a million times. But we’ve never seen it like this. That’s because Sgt. Brandon Morgan’s “honey” is a guy named Dalan Wells and that photo of them playing same-sex tonsil hockey thus manages to simultaneously affirm and subvert a cherished bit of patriotic iconography: the returning serviceman being greeted by the one he loves.

The image forces us to see an old thing in a new way. It is a sign of the times — jarringly so for some.

That’s why it went viral, why it has made international headlines and sparked thousands of comments on message boards.

Click here to read Leonard Pitts Jr.'s complete column.


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Thank you Steve for your Continued Great Journalism!


This kiss has been seen millions of times. I am happy for the two men, but I am saddened that a simple kiss between lovers is all that remarkable just because they are two men. It shows that there is much immaturity in our society

I loved a Marine who died in 1986. We went to High School together in the 1970s. On occasion, we got together after college while he was in the corps. In 1985 I visited him in Hawaii for two weeks. The next spring he died.

I regret that I never told him how much I loved him. We could have been great lovers with intense lovemaking. Too bad that we grew up repressing our emotions during the sixties and seventies. To this day, he is the true love of my life.

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