The first kiss for a returning sailor after a long deployment at sea has been a sweet and memorable tradition for decades.
But a kiss between two same-sex partners is believed to be a first for the Royal Canadian Navy.
The crowd could be heard cheering when Master Seaman Francis Legare embraced his partner, Corey Vautour, after more than eight months at sea.
“I have been away for 255 days, so it feels great,” Legare said, smiling ear to ear. “I am speechless.”
With a crew of 250, the HMCS Winnipeg returned to Victoria on Tuesday after an 8-month tour in the Caribbean and eastern Pacific.
According to CBC, “being the first sailor off a ship is considered an honor and privilege in the Canadian navy, and it’s decided by a random raffle. But it’s a sign of the times that the navy is on board with a kiss that may have been considered controversial not too long ago.”
“We are reflective of society and we do recruit across all across society,” Rear Admiral Gilles Couturier, commander of the Pacific Navy, said. “If we don’t adapt, we won’t have any sailors joining.”