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L.A. sailor Marissa Gaeta makes history with lesbian 'first kiss'

December 22, 2011 |  8:30 am


Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta of Los Angeles made history when she and her female partner publicly kissed as her ship, the landing ship Oak Hill, docked in Virginia on Wednesday. 

Officials said it marked the first time a same-sex couple has performed the traditional "first kiss" as the ship docked at port. The first kiss is selected through a raffle, and Gaeta won.

"It's a big deal," Gaeta told the Virginian-Pilot in an interview. "It's been a long time coming .... It's nice to be able to be myself."

Gaeta is from San Pedro and her partner, Citlalic Snell, is from Northern California.

Crowds waiting from family members to come off the ship cheered when the couple embraced, according to the Associated Press. 

"This is the first time we can actually show who we are," Snell added.


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Photo: The historic embrace. Credit: Virginian-Pilot / Associated Press