The U.S. Senate votes to repeal the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
Saturday, the Senate voted on a new bill which will allow gays and lesbians to openly serve in the military without punishment.
Although the Senate voted 65-31, President Obama and the Pentagon must first certify that lifting the ban will not hurt troops' ability to fight.
After the bill is approved, the military will undergo a 60-day wait period prior to the changes being made.
In a statement, Defense Secretary Robert gates said he will begin the process immediately, but added, certification will not come until after "careful consultation" with the military service chiefs and combatant commanders.
President Obama is expected to sign the bill in to law next week.