The winner was Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta of Placerville, California,and her kiss was with her partner, dressed in civilian cloths, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell, of Los Angeles. This is the first such same-sex event and was made possible by the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT). Most of these events pass unnoticed, except for local media. This time there was wide coverage, including this NBC Washington report. Here are some comments from the skipper:
David Bauer, the commanding officer of the USS Oak Hill, said that Gaeta and Snell's kiss would largely be a non-event and the crew's reaction upon learning who was selected to have the first kiss was positive.And that is it. It happened. Two cute young women, both very presentable and it was over and the next time will be a non-event. The Navy lucked out (or stage managed this in an excellent manner). It could have been a paunchy male Chief Petty Officer and his slob-like biker boyfriend. That would have been a bad picture. But, it wasn't and kudos to Petty Officers Gaeta and Snell and to Skipper Bauer and the crew of the OAK HILL for getting us past this.
“It's going to happen and the crew's going to enjoy it. We're going to move on and it won't overshadow the great things that this crew has accomplished over the past three months,” Bauer said.
Frankly, we are conducting a social experiment and one hundred years from now this could all be reversed. But we are where we are today.  This brings us to The [Lowell] Sun and the Dan Phelps column on Chaz Bono, who underwent a sex change operation a while back and who has just broken up with his long time girlfriend. We are at the stage were people are sensitive about discrimination regarding sexual orientation, both human and robot.
The Dan Phelps column generated a number of letters to the editor, several of which were published this last week. It also evoked a couple of blog posts at Left in Lowell, including here and here.
Aside from Jack's confusion of older citizens with "The Old World" (Europe) and a slight "preachy" tone, the two blog posts are correct in saying it is time to let things settle down. While, in it's way, Chaz Bono has nothing to do with same sex relationships, this is currently a tender area and regardless of one's personal feelings, it is time to live and let live in the public arena. Our elected officials have pointed us in a direction, both at the State and Federal levels.
Let us see where we are in a few years. This nation has undertaken a number of great social experiments. Some have been great successes and now appear obvious. A few have failed and one was actually reversed—Prohibition.
Maybe this Christmas Eve we could ponder the advice of the Parisee Gamaliel, as laid out in Acts 5:34-39.
Regards — Cliff