A photo of Marine Brandon Morgan kissing his boyfriend after returning home from deployment has received more than 3,000 comments and 14,000 likes on Facebook.

Most of those commenting at the Gay Marines Facebook page left notes of encouragement.

“Welcome home and thank you for your service!” wrote one commenter. “This is an awesome picture! Love knows no gender, race, creed or sexual preference.”

“Welcome home Marine!” wrote another. “Thank you for your service! As a veteran of the U.S. Army it brings tears to my eyes to see you be able to express your love without fear. God bless you and your BF. May you have many more years together!”

Brandon Morgan, the Marine in the picture, responded to commenters on his Facebook page.

“To everyone who has responded in a positive way. My partner and I want to say thank you. Dalan, the giant in the photo, can't believe how many shares and likes we have gotten on this. We didn't do this to get famous, or something like that, we did this cause after 3 deployments and four years knowing each other, we finally told each other how we felt.”

Morgan also responded to his detractors: “As for the haters, let 'em hate.”

“We are the happiest we have ever been,” he added. “Semper Fi.”

The photo received increased attention after being featured on popular gay blogs Joe.My.God and Towleroad.