A three member panel of U. S. Navy Officers voted 3-0 on Thursday in favor of retaining Petty Officer Derek Morado, who had been facing a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” disciplinary discharge hearing, more than a year after being told he would be discharged.
Morado’s hearing at the Naval Air Station in Lemoore, Calif., on Thursday began four months after President Barack Obama signed a law repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the 1996 ban on openly gay service members.
Morado, who joined the Navy at the age of 17, found himself facing a discharge 6 years later after someone anonymously outed him after seeing a photo of him kissing another man on his personal MySpace page in November of 2009.
The outing touched off the Navy’s investigation into his sexual orientation.
“Here I am, never have gotten in trouble for anything and all of a sudden my career has ended over something that has nothing to do with my career. To me it feels like a slap in the face,” Morado said.
Morado was told he would be “administratively separated” under the terms of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
“Due to what they find is enough evidence to separate me based on a social networking website called My Space,” he said.
The repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” stipulated that, before actual repeal of the law takes place, the Defense Department would conduct training to prepare its forces for the change.