The EU

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

First Kiss

Earlier in the week the US Navy amphibious landing ship USS OAK HILL pulled into port at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.  one thing that marked the return was the tradition first sailor off the ship to receive a welcoming kiss.  The individual is normally picked by lottery, with tickets purchased by sailors, the proceeds going for a Christmas Party for the children of the crew, or some such.

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.

“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.
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.

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


Jack Mitchell said...

I'm sure gay people have loved each other longer than we have had Christianity.

If you want to use this flimsy frame of "experimentation," let's be honest about durability.

In 10,000 years, we will have gays.

C R Krieger said...


There is no doubt in my mind that same-sex coupling has been around since the dawn of time.  Sometimes accepted and sometimes not.  And tying it to this season of the year, isn't male on male sex in the baths a minor subtext for the story that is Hanukkah?

The whole planopy of sexual relationships will be with us to the Second Coming.  The question is, what will society tolerate being openly celebrated?  Here in Massachusetts Christmas was once banned, as was Ulysses.  I read Ulysses in High School for extra credit (granted, in Long Beach, CA) and just openly celebrated Christmas here in Lowell.  We now have same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.  Life is in flux.  We, the People, through our Legislature or our courts, might decide that polyandry is acceptable.  On the other hand, same-sex marriage Christmas and Ulysses could all go away in a new puritanical wave.

My point in blogging was to suggest to those I know who still oppose repeal of DADT that that boat has left and it is time to relax and accept.  Having said that, I do think there are reasonable limits on PDA; for all arrangements.  The Navy had a winner and The Sun a loser.

Regards  —  Cliff

Jack Mitchell said...

So, by "experiment," you mean legislate morality?

Knowing "morality" is a temporal condition, it could be considered a fool's errand, e.g. prohibition.

The trick with America is to allow for the majority, while protecting the minority.

What happens, unfortunately, is when the minority begins to show itself as not so minor. It freaks the majority out.

As for the other forms of relationships which could arise once the binary option isn't mandated, I'm okay with whatever consenting adults prefer.

There have been many gays forced into 'one man-one woman' marriages by an oppressive society. The Mormons may wish to move to a more fundamental interpretation on thier belifs. Why not?

As long as there is 'free will' amongst the participants. Though, I would anticipate such 'free will' to be on a collision course with 'dogma.'

Just ask a gay.

C R Krieger said...

I worry free will is in conflict with science, or at least some science.  I guess I am with the dogma of free will.

Regards  —  Cliff

Jack Mitchell said...

Science is dogmatic. Not in postulate, but in method.

Definately, not Magick.

Trippy, huh?

Anonymous said...

One of the failings of man is his proclivity for minding everyone else's business using his own standards as the litmus test for "acceptability." These snobbish elitists have likely been the cause for more pointless upheavals in society in general and local settings too. Many feel it is their divine roll and right to ensure that everyone does what THEY proclaim to be right, correct, politically and socially proper. Unfortunately, their determination for cloning drives them to positions of authority locally, statewide, and nationally. Thus they are able to some extent force others to comply with their arcane views.

Frankly, those kinds of tortured souls are more detestable than the targets of their control and vituperation.

I know many gays and lesbians. One can't help but know them if there is any involvement in any community. My high school principal and biology teachers were gay as it gets.....and they lived happily amongst a community of nearly 2000 folks. I imagine that there were those who were horrified by their "crime," but in a small town, one was generally wise to keep one's opinions personal.

I knew literally thousands of gays and lesbians in 33 years of my AF career. Many were my friends. Some of the stories were tragic. My Wing Commander quite literally ordered me to proceed with paperwork to discharge one of my clerks at our squadron. My commander was understandably compliant with policy and I was the reluctant one. So we threw the kid out of the AF with a big brand on his forehead. He went home to NYC to his Puerto Rican Dad and Mom, who were now ashamed of him and his "choices." Three weeks after returning home, he went into his closet at his home and hung himself, leaving a note apologizing to his parents for shaming them so.

My youngest brother is gay...and exceptionally defensive (and offensive) about it. I told him that the gay life wasn't something I wanted to participate in.....or even know details about.....but what he does it what he does. I am not here to judge. I'll leave that roll and responsibility to God.....and frankly.....I'm not so sure that He will condemn gays and lesbians...but may well condemn those who condemn them ("Judge not lest ye be judged" and "what you do the least of these, ye do to me.")

I think we have much more serious issues to solve than the sexual preferences of people.....or who wins the elections we stage.