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.