Remember last December when President Obama signed the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell into law? Have you noticed the months of preparation and training videos made available to the public? We haven’t imagined this, right?
So why is Petty Officer 2nd Class Derek Morado facing a three member military panel today who will decide if he is to be discharged from the navy for “homosexual conduct?”
Morado said he’s heard that no one has been discharged from the military for being gay since October. He hopes not to be the first since then, because he wants to make the Navy his career. “It’s all I really know,” he said. “I’ve done it since high school. I just want to keep doing it.”
A gay rights group has publicized Morado’s case, putting out a call for signatures from supporters that he can take to today’s hearing.
“At least they’ll know people are watching and he has supporters in the community who won’t let it just happen,” said Robin McGehee of Fresno, a director of GetEQUAL. “The fact that the Navy is trying to slide one more discharge in under the wire is disgusting, and must be called out for what it is — blatant discrimination and bullying.”
Morado said Wednesday he knew he had to hide his homosexuality when he enlisted in 2003 after graduating from a Sacramento high school. But his sexual orientation became public after he posted a photo of himself on his MySpace page kissing another man.
“He was just a friend, not a romantic interest,” Morado said.
A senior enlisted man in his ordnance and weapons unit turned him in, he said, and an admiral signed off on discharge proceedings. Once that happens, Morado said, “they have to go through with it.”
- Why is this still an issue? Even if the panel was still technically allowed to oust gay soldiers because the Pentagon has yet to give the final word on ending the discriminatory policy, why would they want to? This is terrible press and PR for the U.S. military. When the president, Congress, and majority of American people tell you you’re no longer allowed or welcome to discriminate against homosexuals, it’s probably best you take notice.
- What is MySpace? It sounds vaguely familiar, yet…
Secretary of the Navy, Lt. Myers Vasquez, will need to find the courage balls to officially give Morado the boot today, if that is the decision the navy reaches. Let’s hope sanity prevails today. Also worth mentioning, after being outed, Morado was demoted from the highly techinical role of Bomb Manufacturing to a glorified housekeeper, Barracks Manager. WTF, Navy?
We’ll keep you posted. Why is this still happening though?