Historic same-sex kiss marks return of HMCS Winnipeg to Victoria

The first kiss between a sailor and a loved one reuniting after months at sea has always been a celebrated tradition – but in Victoria, it has made history.

See Full Article

With cheers erupting from a crowd at CFB Esquimalt’s dockyard on Tuesday, Master Seaman Francis Legare stepped off HMCS Winnipeg into his partner Corey’s arms as they shared what is believed to be the first-ever “first kiss” between two men.

“It’s just unreal, it’s great. I’m just speechless right now,” said Legare, who had been at sea with his crewmates for 255 days.

Crew members all told CTV News there may have previously been a same-sex first kiss between two women, but this is the first time in Canada they’ve seen two men taking part in the tradition.

“I think it’s wonderful,” said HMCS Winnipeg Rear Admiral Gilles Couturier. “The Canadian Armed Forces embraces people whatever their preferences are, and I think it’s great.”

Legare bought tickets for the raffle that determines which sailor gets to have the coveted first kiss – and won.

He said all of his shipmates were supportive about him and Corey getting the spotlight this time around.

“I just bought a ticket because all the money goes to charity, I wasn’t thinking I was going to win,” he said. “It just proves that the Navy is sending a strong message and we are supported, and it’s very great.”

Legare, who is originally from Quebec, said he and his partner will now relax for the 41 days he has off – and he’ll get back to cooking some authentic French cuisine.

Hutchinson said the Navy has had to evolve on the topic over the years to properly reflect society.

“We have to. We are a reflective society,” he said. “We do recruit across all of the spectrum of society, and if we don’t adapt, we won’t have any sailors joining.”

History made in Esquimalt with traditional first kiss between crew of HMCS Winnipeg and his partner. See @CTVNewsVIpic.twitter.com/fwZ05NgiHf

— Robert Buffam (@CTVNewsRob) February 23, 2016

The ship returned home after participating in operations Caribbe, a multinational campaign against trafficking, and Reassurance, in which the crew took part in NATO-led joint exercises.

It also made headlines when three crew members were detained during a stop in Tokyo, Japan based on allegations of drug use.

Ian Greenwood, the son of retired Rear Admiral Richard Greenwood, faces a charge relating to drug use and remains in custody.

A civilian fitness instructor from the ship has also been charged with drug use.

Both were charged after Japanese police administered drug tests, but the charges have yet to be proven in a court of law.

A third Canadian, Jack Lawson, was taken into custody and subsequently released by police after a drug test.


Latest Canada & World News

  • Garda truck rammed with front-end loader, $200K stolen

    Canada News CTV News
    An armoured Garda truck was rammed into and robbed in an alley in Montreal on Friday. Police say the back of the armoured vehicle was rammed into by a front-end loader by at least one person around 2 p.m. Source
  • Merkel party pulls candidate for 'liking' rival's Facebook page

    World News CTV News
    In this file photo, German chancellor Angela Merkel, attends a news conference with French president Francois Hollande after a meeting of the leaders of France, Russia, Ukraine and Germany in Berlin, Thursday Oct. 20, 2016. (Michael Kappeler/dpa via AP) Source
  • 2 arrested in connection to sexual assaults at Laval University

    Canada News CTV News
    Quebec City police have arrested two individuals in connection with alleged break-ins and sexual assaults at a university residence. One of the accused has been released on a promise to appear in court at a later date, while the other is to be arraigned by video conference today. Source
  • Are creepy clowns fuelled by public's boredom with zombies and vampires?

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    It hasn’t been a kind news cycle for people with a deep fear of clowns. Creepy clown sightings on both sides of the Atlantic have led to bans on clown masks and endless questions about why anyone thinks it’s a good idea to dress up as a clown and scare people. Source
  • Egyptian court upholds 20-year jail sentence for Mohammed Morsi

    World News CTV News
    CAIRO -- An Egyptian court has upheld a 20-year jail sentence passed against ousted President Mohammed Morsi for his role in the killing of protesters outside the presidential palace in Cairo in December 2012. Saturday's ruling by the Court of Cessation is the first final verdict against Morsi since his ouster and subsequent detention in July 2013. Source
  • Woman charged after picking up child from daycare while intoxicated: police

    Canada News CTV News
    Quebec police say a woman has been charged with impaired driving after picking up her young daughter from a daycare while intoxicated. On Thursday, officers in Gatineau, Que. stopped the 24-year-old woman 10 minutes from the daycare. Source
  • Feral cats deployed in NYC streets to wage war on rats

    World News Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — Multitudes of feral cats roam New York City’s concrete jungle, and some now have a practical purpose: They’re helping curb the city’s rat population. A group of volunteers trained by the NYC Feral Cat Initiative traps wild cat colonies that have become a nuisance or been threatened by construction, then spays or neuters and vaccinates them. Source
  • Victims prostituted in 'marathonic sessions', police bust sex trafficking ring

    World News Toronto Sun
    MADRID — Police in Spain say they have arrested 21 people and freed four women while breaking up an alleged human trafficking ring. The country’s national police said in a statement Saturday that the bust in the southern city of Malaga happened after a victim called an anti-sex trafficking hotline saying she was being forced into prostitution and to consume illegal drugs. Source
  • Powder mailed to Clinton campaign office tested

    World News Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — The Hillary Clinton campaign says four people have been examined by medical personnel after a white powdery substance arrived at a New York campaign office and they have reported no health issues. Campaign spokesman Glen Caplin said federal and local officials determined the substance was non-hazardous; he provided no further details Saturday. Source
  • Stray cat patrol: Feral felines deployed in NYC's war on rats

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Multitudes of feral cats roam New York City's concrete jungle, and some now have a practical purpose: They're helping curb the city's rat population. A group of volunteers trained by the NYC Feral Cat Initiative traps wild cat colonies that have become a nuisance or been threatened by construction, then spays or neuters and vaccinates them. Source