Thursday, March 31, 2011

Brody's Notes... Get Equal: DADT Not Dead As Navy Prepares To Discharge Petty Officer

Derek Morado
By Mark Singer (Washington DC) MAR 31 | A 23 year old U. S. Navy sailor is facing a "Don't Ask-Don't Tell" disciplinary hearing with a three-member officer's panel at the Leemore Naval Air Station, in central California, in a closed-door hearing this morning.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Derek Morado, joined the navy at the age of 17, and six years later, he is facing a discharge under the DADT statue. Morado says he was notified of the investigation into his sexual orientation after someone anonymously outed him after seeing his MySpace page. in November of 2009.
In an email to LGBTQ Equality Rights activist group GETEqual's Executive Director, Robin McGehee, Morado said:
'This lengthy matter has been tearing me up; it has destroyed relationships and displaced loved ones who were relying on me. But even after the U.S. Government has made it clear they don’t want this law in effect the Navy has said that, because the paperwork has been submitted and the policy is technically still active, they have no choice but to continue.
I have been in the U.S. Navy since I graduated high school. It’s all I know and all I want to do. I have dreams of grandeur, hopes of retiring a young, highly-decorated, respected senior enlisted sailor. My resolve is weakened but not broken. I just have to place my fate in the hands of three strangers -- strangers who I hope have strong moral convictions and like-minded sentiments to my own.'
Robin McGehee noted that his discharge process began right after Morado was outed -- but it limped along while the government waffled about what to do about repeal. A year went by before he got any kind of update, each day believing it was his last day to serve his country. After the repeal bill was signed into law, he believed his case to be over.
She said:
"In December, when President Obama signed the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010," I breathed a sigh of relief. Although there is still work to do to make repeal fully inclusive and get it implemented, my hope was that at least now we would not lose another servicemember because of that discriminatory law. After so many discharges even as late as last year- I thought we were finally out of the woods. But Derek got bad news earlier this month. Despite DADT repeal, his case is still being pursued and his hearing is scheduled for tomorrow. 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."
Servicemembers United's executive director, Alex Nicholson, said that DADT has led to the discharge of 261 service members in fiscal year 2010 alone, cautioning that the law remains in effect until the President, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify that the military is prepared to implement repeal. Any potential discharge under DADT would need to be certified by the service branch secretaries — in Petty Officer Morado's case, the secretary of the Navy.


Trab said...

Bet you that initiating a policy is instantaneous. It is so obvious that they don't agree with this repeal at all.