US gay sailor outed by colleague faces dismissal

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A gay US sailor is facing dismissal after a colleague outed him.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Derek Morado, 26, is to appear before a private military hearing today where he will find out if he is to be fired under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

President Obama has already signed an order to repeal the anti-gay law but it remains in force while Pentagon chiefs train troops to deal with the change,

Under the law, gay and lesbian troops may serve in the military so long as they keep their sexual orientation secret. They can be fired if a third party outs them or if they out themselves.

Morado was outed in 2009 by a colleague. He had posted a picture of himself on MySpace kissing another man, who he says was just a friend.

The sailor, who joined the military at the age of 17, says he has been told that no gay troops have been discharged since October.

His case is being publicised by gay group GetEqual, who have collected signatures ahead of today’s hearing.

Morado said he was supported by other sailors. “All I’ve gotten is support and shock that this is happening – nothing negative,” he told the Fresno Bee.

There is no set date for Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to end, although President Obama has said troops will serve openly by the end of the year.

Gay troops have been warned to stay in the closet for now.

The US Senate voted to repeal the 17-year-old ban in December.

However, it will not be lifted until the Pentagon certifies that military readiness will not be harmed by the change.

Following this certification, 60 days must pass before repeal officially takes place.