December 18th, 2010
03:48 PM ET

Update: Senate votes to repeal ban on gays openly serving in military

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/12/18/senate.dadt/c1main.senate2.senatetv.jpg caption="Eight Republicans joined Democrats in voting to repeal 'don't ask, don' tell.'" width=300 height=169]

CNN Wire Staff

Washington (CNN) - The military's prohibition of openly gay people serving within its ranks is one step closer to ending, after the Senate voted Saturday to repeal the armed forces' "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

Eight Republicans and independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut joined the chamber's Democrats to back the legislation, which passed by a 65-31 margin. The bill needed a simple majority - meaning support from 51 of the Senate's 100 members - to pass.

"I want to thank all of the gay men and women who are fighting for us today," said Sen. Susan Collins, of Maine, one of several Republicans who voted for the measure. "We honor your service, and now we can do so openly."

President Barack Obama will sign the bill into law next week, White House press secretary said in a Twitter post moments after the Senate vote.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, applauded Congress's action, which he said "preserves the military's prerogative to implement change in a responsible, deliberate manner."

"It is the right thing to do," he said in a statement. "No longer will able men and women who want to serve and sacrifice for their country have to sacrifice their integrity to do so. We will be a better military as a result."

Full story

Updated: 4:13 pm

soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Christopher Bochniak

    This is long overdue federal civil rights regulation showing progress in our nation's allowing very smart and intelligent gay and lesbian Americans to serve and work openly without fear of reprisal from anyone or any religion or private institutions. Bullying and discrimination still take many forms of discrimination in the workplace today which must be stopped for the security and progress of the Nation.

    December 19, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
  2. Master Sgt Austin

    When it comes to polling military members on the DADT policy, you will be polling mostly heterosexuals. The open hostility towards gay people has done it's job and kept gay people out of the military. Gay people are not looking for special privileges – just to be included. My personal dream would be to get through an entire deployment completely forgetting that I am gay. The openingly disparaging comments always snap me back to reality. One day I will not have to think about my sexual orientation and can get back to participating in the mission – like most everyone else!
    MSgt Austin Gerald

    December 18, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  3. Master Sgt Austin

    thank God they passed DADT!!. I wish that you could talk to more of my gay peers in the military but unfortunately you cannot because the institutionlized hostility has done it's job and kept them out. the DADT policy is not about special priviledges as it is more about respect and dignitiy. The ONLY way to end discrimination is for the leadership to mandate it (true but sad)
    Master Sergeant Austin Gerald USAF

    December 18, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  4. Brad

    Today was a historic day,,allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly and proud. So happy right now I want to shout from the rooftops!

    December 18, 2010 at 4:20 pm |