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Officer Facing DADT Discharge Told He Can Stay in the Navy

Officer Facing DADT Discharge Told He Can Stay in the Navy

A gay sailor who faced a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) discharge hearing this week despite President Obama signing repeal legislation last year, was told yesterday by a three member military panel in a closed hearing that he will be allowed to stay in the Navy after his lawyer argued that the policy is as good as dead given that the repeal process will soon be fully underway.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Derek Morado faced a discharge hearing after being outed by a fellow officer in 2009 based on the content of his MySpace page. Morado had thought that when President Obama signed legislation to begin the repeal process just before Christmas the matter would be closed. He was shocked earlier this year, when he received notice of his discharge hearing.

Speaking to GetEQUAL, a direct action group that organized a petition on Morado’s behalf, Morado told how the three-member panel had unanimously agreed to allow him to stay in the Navy given that the policy will soon be retired. GetEQUAL points out that Morado’s case may not be unique and that it highlights the importance of keeping a spotlight on the military until DADT is finally dead.

From GetEQUAL.org where Director Robin McGehee writes:

I just got off the phone with Petty Officer Derek Morado, the servicemember who was facing discharge today in California despite “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” having been repealed 100 days ago.

In short, I have great news to report — by a vote of 3-0, Derek was recommended for retention. With your help, Derek gets to not only save his career, but walk prouder — without the burden of discrimination on his shoulders.

This is good news for a few reasons — it shows the power of grassroots efforts to apply pressure and the reality that, when we expose the truth and stand up for our dignity, we win. We don’t know how many other servicemembers are facing discharge, but we will not rest until all Americans — LGB and T — are free to serve their country freely, openly, honestly, and without danger of discharge.

Advocates are urging military leaders to hurry the repeal implementation process along, citing that while the process is ongoing lesbian, gay and bisexual servicemembers continue to suffer under DADT.

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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to the U.S. Army Photostream.

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26 comments

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7:50AM PDT on Apr 9, 2011

It seems serving in the military could be about honor, integrity, and striving to treat one another as human beings. Get past our fears and serve on the same team........

3:31PM PDT on Apr 3, 2011

First off: great news!

Secondly, I concur with Larry W: I don't think John H. meant anything by his comment, he was just pointing out what was obvious (to him and other vets.)

There is no one who is a bigger supporter of LGBT rights than I am, but as a veteran myself, the fact that the term "officer" was mis-used in the story immediately jumped out at me, as well. That's why, when commenting on the earlier article, I made a point of using ther terms Petty Officer and Chief in my post.

3:46AM PDT on Apr 3, 2011

@Robert O. I think you misunderstood the comment of John H. He is simply saying that clarity is better. Perhaps you only see what you want to when you read an article, but some of us think clarity is useful and proper and such comments can be helpful to the author in future.

8:50PM PDT on Apr 2, 2011

Don't worry about all the homosexuals in our military.
Worry about the so-called heterosexuals, who do all the complaining. These are the problem soldiers and trouble makers.

Let's make this a 'done deal'.

3:51PM PDT on Apr 2, 2011

There have been gays in the military of all nations since ancient times. I have read of no harm they have done and I'm sure they must have preformed many heroic acts.

12:20PM PDT on Apr 2, 2011

It's the competence and character of the person is what truly matters not their sexuality or how narrow-minded, insecure, people feel about them. They need to grow up and get over it and STAY over it! Equal rights for all!

John H., Well unfortunately they probably don't want to get the message either way. But if they get turned off after the first sentence of the second paragraph just becasue of that, they really aren't interested in equal rights (or anything of substance) to begin with since that should trump all else.

11:16AM PDT on Apr 2, 2011

How magnanimous of them. Seriously, who would most people rather serve with: the gay guy who has your back or the weasel actively looking for someone to stab in the back?

10:54AM PDT on Apr 2, 2011

as a marine from 82-86 iam really glad to hear this . if a man or woman wants to protect and serve there country all military soldiers should stand tall and fight side by side and be proud of what they do .

9:59AM PDT on Apr 2, 2011

Officer refers to commissioned officers. He is a Non-Commissioned Officer. The proper way to refer to his would be as an NCO.

I know this is a minor matter but many military people and veterans will stop reading will turn off after the first sentence of the second paragraph and not get the real message.

9:51AM PDT on Apr 2, 2011

About time. Discrimination by race, color, creed, sexual orientation or sex is disgusting.

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