The Senate voted Saturday to repeal the armed forces' policy of "don't ask, don't tell", which prevented openly gay people from serving in the military.
According to CNN, the legislation was passed in a 65-31 vote, and it should be signed into law later this week by President Obama.
"Gay and lesbian service members -- brave Americans who enable our freedoms -- will no longer have to hide who they are," Obama said in an e-mailed statement.
According to ABC News, Sen. John McCain was the fiercest opponent of the decision, and he said that he believed the change in policy would directly harm troops.
Since the original law was enacted in 1993, an estimated 13,500 service members have been discharged from the military for revealing their sexual orientation, according to ABC News.