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Last Updated: Monday, 3 March 2008, 13:14 GMT
US soap viewers demand gay kiss
As the World Turns couple Luke and Noah
Van Hansis and Jake Silbermann play the couple in soap
Fans of a US daytime soap opera have launched a campaign demanding that two gay characters kiss more often.

Viewers of As the World Turns are writing to CBS and have set up a website to count the time elapsed since Luke and Noah last exchanged a kiss.

They first kissed in August - which is thought to have been the first gay kiss shown in a US TV soap.

But they did not smooch at Christmas or Valentine's Day, which some fans have called "extreme".

Roger Newcomb, a fan of the show from New York who is leading the campaign, said there was widespread support for the couple's ongoing storyline.

'Creative decision'

"We applaud the show for this, but just don't understand why they have to be censored or treated differently," he said.

Mr Newcomb criticised the decision to show the couple declaring their love at Christmas, when the camera panned away to a sprig of mistletoe as they were about to kiss.

"I've been watching soaps for decades and that doesn't happen," he said.

If they were not going to follow through with it, they shouldn't have started it
As the World Turns fan Theresa Webber

Jeannie Tharrington, a spokeswoman for the production company behind the series, said there was no kissing ban and the mistletoe scene was a "creative decision".

Barbara Bloom, the CBS network's head of daytime, has come out in favour of the two characters' relationship being developed.

"If this means there is a natural progression to the physical relationship, then I would support it," she said.

Weekday serial As the World Turns has been aired on US TV since 1956.

Another fan of the show, Theresa Webber from Boston, said: "It's 2008. It's something that's real. If they were not going to follow through with it, they shouldn't have started it."

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