From the New York Times:
The Senate on Saturday voted to repeal the Pentagon's ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military. By a vote of 65 to 31 and following House approval, the Senate sent the bill to President Obama, who had campaigned on ending the policy known as "don't ask, don't tell," which allows gay members of the armed forces to serve only if they keep their sexual orientation a secret.
More than 12,500 service members have been discharged since the policy was mandated by Congress in 1993. A Pentagon report released on Nov. 30 concluded that allowing gays to serve openly in the armed forces presents a low risk to the military's effectiveness, even at a time of war, and that 70 percent of service members believe that the impact of repealing the law would be either positive, mixed or of no consequence at all.