[Photo: Mike Almy speaks at a news conference follow the successful cloture vote on the bill to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell. (Photo by Chris Geidner.)]
On a 65-31 vote for final passage, the stand-alone "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal bill that became a part of the repeal strategy less than two weeks ago will be heading to President Barack Obama's desk for his signature.
Obama -- following the successful 63-33 cloture vote a little before noon today -- issued a statement asking for Senate action, saying, "I urge the Senate to send this bill to my desk so that I can sign it into law."
In addition to the six Republicans who voted for cloture on the repeal bill -- Sens. Scott Brown (R-Mass), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio) -- Republicans Sens. Richard Burr (N.C.) and John Ensign (Nev.) voted for the final passage of the repeal bill. Collins had co-sponsored the repeal bill.
The come-from-behind success will provide a much-needed liberal victory for Obama, although questions remain about the implementation of the repeal and the short-term implications for gay, lesbian and bisexual servicemembers currently subject to the law banning them from coming out.