The military's 17-year-old ban on gays in the military is all but dead. Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell cleared its crucial 60-vote procedural hurdle in the Senate today and is expected to easily pass in the final vote later today, reports AP. The vote to kill a GOP filibuster passed by a relatively comfortable margin of 63-33, making it a near certainty that President Obama will be signing repeal into law by the end of the year.
Six GOP senators joined Democrats in voting for repeal: Susan Collins, Scott Brown, Olympia Snowe, Lisa Murkowski, Mark Kirk, and George Voinovich. (Democrat Joe Manchin, who opposed repeal, missed the vote because of a "holiday gathering," notes Politico.) Opponent John McCain pronounced it a "very sad day," reports the Washington Post. "They will do what is asked of them," he said of service members. "But don't think there won't be a great cost." More senators apparently agreed with Harry Reid: "As Barry Goldwater said, 'You don't have to be straight to shoot straight.'"