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Gay Marine's Kiss Was 'Four Years Of Pent-Up Emotion And Secret Love'

When he returned from Afghanistan and saw his partner waiting to welcome him home, "four years of pent-up emotion and secret love" just seemed to naturally lead to "what felt like an eternity kiss," Marine Sgt. Brandon Morgan told NPR this afternoon.

In a conversation with All Things Consideredproducer Art Silverman, part of which will be broadcast on the show later today, Morgan discussed the kiss and the now viral photo that we blogged about Monday.

"I looked to my left" and saw Dalan Wells, his partner, Morgan said. "My legs started going numb ... and I didn't care who was around. ... I wanted to show him how much I cared for him." They've known each other for four years.

And the post-kiss reaction sparked by the photo's posting on the Web has made him "very hopeful," Morgan said, "because even though there's been a lot of negative responses, the positive responses have been overwhelming."

The "don't ask, don't tell" policy that had barred openly gay men and women from serving in the U.S. military ended last September.

Click here to find an NPR station that broadcasts or streams All Things Considered.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.