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Gay California sailor Derek Morado says he can stay in the Navy

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- A Navy petty officer who was investigated for violating the military's ban on openly gay servicemembers says a review board at his California base has voted against his discharge.

Derek Morado said the three-member board voted unanimously after a six-hour hearing at Lemoore Naval Air Station on Thursday to allow him to serve out the remaining three years of his current enlistment.

The 26-year-old Morado says he had been under investigation for violating the "don't ask, don't tell" policy since 2009, when someone reported seeing a picture of him kissing another man and that he described himself as gay on his MySpace page.

Congress voted to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" in December, but the policy remains in effect until military leaders certify the armed forces are ready to integrate openly gay troops.

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