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Military career of gay waitress in homophobic snub dispute called into question

A New Jersey waitress who claims a family refused to tip her because of her sexuality continues to lose credibility.
Women Attend Marine Boot Camp At Parris Island, South Carolina
A Drill Instructor corrects her female Marine recruits through the window of the chow hall during training in boot camp Feb. 27, 2013 at MCRD Parris Island, South Carolina.

A New Jersey waitress who claims a family refused to tip her because of her sexual orientation continues to lose credibility.

According to NBC 4 New York, Dayna Morales, whose story of homophobia went viral last month, was dishonorably discharged from the Marine Reserve Corps in May, after she stopped showing up for drills. The report cites an unnamed Pentagon source, who told NBC 4 that Morales began serving in July of 2009 and was stationed in Newburgh, N.Y., until the Marines dismissed her last spring under conditions that were “other than honorable.” A woman who says she served with Morales also told NBC 4 that she “wouldn’t want anyone to think [Morales] was part of [her] Marine Corps family, because she’s not.”

Morales garnered national attention last month after she claimed that a family she served at the Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, N.J., left her no tip on a $93.55 bill, and wrote a message on the receipt reading: “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I don’t agree with your lifestyle & how you live you life.”

The 23-year-old sent a photo of the receipt to the blog, “Have a Gay Day,” and included details about the experience.

“I am thoroughly offended, mad, pissed off, and hurt,” Morales wrote. “I served in the Marines to keep ignorant people like them free.”

Once “Have a Gay Day” posted Morales’ story on Facebook, she received an outpouring of public support and thousands of dollars in donations, a portion of which she pledged to give to the Wounded Warrior Project.

But her story began to crumble when a New Jersey couple came forward claiming the receipt was theirs, and that the photo Morales had was somehow doctored. The couple claimed the handwriting on the receipt wasn’t theirs, and provided NBC4 with a credit card statement showing they paid an $18 tip.

Later, another woman came forward and said she had worked with Morales last year at the Cheesecake Factory in Nyack, N.Y., and that Morales told coworkers she had brain cancer. Jacqie Fitzpatrick told NBC 4 that Morales would use the cancer story to solicit handouts from friends at work.

Morales did not immediately respond on Tuesday to a request for comment. The Gallop Asian Bistro, where the homophobic snub allegedly took place, posted on its Facebook page that the restaurant had removed Morales from its employee schedule until it could complete its investigation into the matter.