By a vote of 63-33, the senate voted this morning to end debate on a stand-alone bill to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, setting the stage for a final majority vote at 2pm today. At this point, passage is all but assured. As Ezra Klein pointed out, this adds to the 111th congress' already impressive resume. More importantly, it's a big step towards equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans. It's not the end of the fight, however. Repeal of DOMA and passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act are both vital to the cause of ensuring that all Americans, gay or straight, can enjoy the same rights.
As for the DADT vote, notable yeses included Mark Kirk (he voted no last time around), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), George Voinovich (R-OH, retiring), Scott Brown (R-MA), and both Maine Republicans. Joe Manchin (D-WV) did not vote, he voted against repeal last time and still seems opposed. Notable (disappointing) nos included John McCain (his actions get more bitter and disgraceful by the minute), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Richard Lugar (R-IN).
63 Senators were on the right side of history today.