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Senate votes to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on gays in the military

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, at a  news conference following the defeat of a cloture motion of the Defense Authorization Bill containing repeal of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' provision on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, at a news conference following the defeat of a cloture motion of the Defense Authorization Bill containing repeal of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' provision on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

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  • Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., right, accompanied by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010,  following the defeat of a cloture motion of the Defense Authorization Bill containing repeal of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' provision. (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
  • Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., hugs 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' supporter Eric Alva, a former Marine, near the floor of the Senate on an unusual Saturday session on Capitol Hill in Washington Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., left, and Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., go to a news conference about the Don't Ask Don't Tell bill on an unusual Saturday session on Capitol Hill in Washington Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010.  Repeal would mean that, for the first time in American history, gays would be openly accepted by the military. Reid said a final vote would come at 3 p.m. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., center at podium, speaks about the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' bill during a news conference with, from left, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., Sen. Joesph Lieberman, I-Conn., Reid, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., during an unusual Saturday session on Capitol Hill in Washington Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., left, gives thumbs up with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine., right, and Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., as they head into a new conference about the passage of the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' bill during a rare Saturday session on Capitol Hill in Washington Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., from left, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine., Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., speak during a news conference about the passage of the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' bill during an unusual Saturday session on Capitol Hill in Washington Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine., right, speaks as Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., stands during a news conference about the passage of the Don't Ask Don't Tell bill during an unusual Saturday session on Capitol Hill in Washington Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010.  In a landmark for gay rights, the U.S. Senate on Saturday voted to let gays serve openly in the military, giving President Barack Obama the chance to fulfill a campaign promise and repeal the 17-year policy known as 'don't ask, don't tell.' (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., from left, Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine., leave after a news conference about the passage of the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' bill during a rare Saturday session on Capitol Hill in Washington Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010. In a landmark for gay rights, the Senate voted Saturday to let gays serve openly in the military, giving President Barack Obama the chance to fulfill a campaign promise and repeal the 17-year policy. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska., speaks to reporters following the defeat of a cloture motion of the Defense Authorization Bill containing repeal of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' provision on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010.(AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
  • Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., speaks during a news conference about the passage of the Don't Ask Don't Tell bill during an unusual Saturday session on Capitol Hill in Washington Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010.  In a landmark for gay rights the Senate voted to let gays serve openly in the military, giving President Barack Obama the chance to fulfill a campaign promise and repeal the 17-year policy.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., left, and Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., right, with Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, center, head to a news conference about the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' bill on an unusual Saturday session on Capitol Hill in Washington Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010.  Repeal would mean that, for the first time in American history, gays would be openly accepted by the military. Reid said a final vote would come at 3 p.m. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., left, speaks as he stands with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine., and Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., during a news conference about the passage of the Don't Ask Don't Tell bill during a rare Saturday session on Capitol Hill in Washington Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010.  In a landmark for gay rights, the Senate voted to let gays serve openly in the military, giving President Barack Obama the chance to fulfill a campaign promise and repeal the 17-year policy.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., right, speaks with an aide before a news conference on the House vote to repeal 'don't ask, don't tell' policy on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010 in Washington.  (AP Photo)
  • Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., left,  gives thumbs up, with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine., right, and Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., as they head into a news conference about the passage of the Don't Ask Don't Tell bill during an unusual Saturday session on Capitol Hill in Washington Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010.  In a landmark for gay rights the Senate voted to let gays serve openly in the military, giving President Barack Obama the chance to fulfill a campaign promise and repeal the 17-year policy.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Sen. Joseph Manchin, D-W.Va., the only Democrat to vote 'no' on a cloture motion of the Defense Authorization Bill containing repeal of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' provision, speaks to reporters following the vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
  • Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, speak at a  news conference following the defeat of a cloture motion of the Defense Authorization Bill containing repeal of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' provision on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
  • Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, at a  news conference following the defeat of a cloture motion of the Defense Authorization Bill containing repeal of the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' provision on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)
  • Christopher Crowe of the Lesbian Bisexual Gay and Transgender (LBGT) Congressional Staff Association, right, gathers with supporters of a bill to overturn the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy which would lift the military's 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops, Friday, Dec. 10, 2010, during a rally on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • A supporters of a bill to overturn the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy holds up a portrait of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who opposes the amendment to repeal the military's 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops, Friday, Dec. 10, 2010, during a rally on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Christopher Crowe of the Lesbian Bisexual Gay and Transgender (LBGT) Congressional Staff Association, right, gathers with supporters of a bill to overturn the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy which would lift the military's 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops, Friday, Dec. 10, 2010, during a rally on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., left, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., walk to a news conference about the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' bill on an unusual Saturday session on Capitol Hill in Washington Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Supporters of a bill to overturn the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy which would lift the military's 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops, take part in rally on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Dec. 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Minority Whip Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., center, walks near the floor of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010, during a rare Saturday session to finish the year's legislative business. Senators planned a procedural vote Saturday on a bill to end the Pentagon's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy for gays in the military. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., walks near the floor of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010, during a rare Saturday session to finish the year's legislative business. Senators planned a procedural vote Saturday on a bill to end the Pentagon's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy for gays in the military. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left, and Sen. John McCain, R-ARiz., walk near the floor of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010, during a rare Saturday session to finish the year's legislative business. Senators planned a procedural vote Saturday on a bill to end the Pentagon's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy for gays in the military. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., walks near the floor of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010, during a rare Saturday session to finish the year's legislative business. Senators planned a procedural vote Saturday on a bill to end the Pentagon's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy for gays in the military. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., steps out of his office to lead senators and supporters to a news conference about the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' bill during an unusual Saturday session on Capitol Hill in Washington Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010. Repeal of the bill would mean that, for the first time in American history, gays would be openly accepted by the military. Reid said a final vote would come at 3 p.m.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., left, with Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., speaks at a news conference about the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' bill during an unusual Saturday session on Capitol Hill in Washington Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010.  Repeal of the bill would mean that, for the first time in American history, gays would be openly accepted by the military. Reid said a final vote would come at 3 p.m.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., takes part in a news conference about the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' bill on an unusual Saturday session on Capitol Hill in Washington Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., center, is surrounded by reporters after a news conference about the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' bill during an unusual Saturday session on Capitol Hill in Washington Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010.  Repeal of the bill would mean that, for the first time in American history, gays would be openly accepted by the military. Reid said a final vote would come at 3 p.m.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
  • Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., center, with Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., left, and Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., speaks at a news conference about the 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' bill during on an unusual Saturday session on Capitol Hill in Washington Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010. Repeal of the bill would mean that, for the first time in American history, gays would be openly accepted by the military. Reid said a final vote would come at 3 p.m.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

In a historic vote for gay rights, the Senate agreed on Saturday to do away with the military's 17-year ban on openly gay troops and sent President Barack Obama legislation to overturn the Clinton-era policy known as 'don't ask, don't tell.'

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