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Morado, the servicemember who was facing discharge today in California despite “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” having been repealed 100 days ago.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.
- Senate Votes to Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
- Senate to Hold Cloture Vote on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repeal
- House Passes “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repeal
- DADT Victims File New Lawsuit Seeking Reinstatement
- Military Leaders Testify on DADT Repeal During Senate Committee Hearings