Friday, April 1, 2011
Petty Officer Derek Morado today won his discharge hearing with the Navy after being told he faced ejection due to a MySpace photograph that was turned in anonymously. In the photo, Morado is seen kissing another man. Morado's lawyer told KMPH News that even though DADT has been repealed, that doesn't mean the military's investigations are over.
"There's nothing illegal about what the Navy is trying to do to this man right now as I understand it," Attorney Mark King said. King says that's because the law, is the law. "If someone does something in January that by June is no longer a crime, there's nothing unconstitutional about prosecuting them in September over what happened in January, because in January it was against the law," King said. A Navy spokesperson tells KMPH News, the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy has to be certified by the Secretary of Defense, Chairman and President. After that, it will take another 60 days before it goes into effect. "We have to treat them all with dignity and respect. At the same time there is a law and we have to maintain that law," Navy Commander Danny Hernandez said. But for Derek Morado, it wouldn't matter. On Thursday the board voted against discharging him, which means he can continue his dreams of a decorated military career.According to a press release from GetEQUAL, the Navy's panel voted 3-0 in favor of Morado's retention.
Joe and I just sent out the following update to our email list about yesterday's action to help a gay sailor who was almost kicked out under DADT today. Great news.
Derek Morado -- who was faced with discharge even though we were "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was history -- just telephoned GetEQUAL to let them know he won his battle to stay in the military today.
Thank you to the thousands who signed our petition on behalf of Derek over the past 24 hours. We sent your names to Derek this morning right before he went into his hearing, so in a very real way you were there with him.
According to Derek, all three members of the hearing board voted to retain him in the military -- an incredible result.
Derek gets the lion's share of the credit for today's victory, but I really believe each and every one of you who joined AMERICAblog and GetEQUAL in this action played a role, and you should be proud.
Please share this success with your friends -- and encourage them to join us in our effective activism.
Click here to share on Facebook.
Click below to tweet this message:
Victory! Navy will not discharge sailor under DADT. Join our action ntwk & join the fight: tinyurl.com/684aghv @americablog
There isn't anything we can't accomplish if we work together. Thanks so much, and congratulations again,
John Aravosis, Editor of AMERICAblog
Joe Sudbay, Deputy Editor of AMERICAblog
P.S. You can read some background on Derek's story here.