The House votes to repeal policy, but more steps need to be taken.
Gay soldiers won't have to hide their sexual orientation if the House bill also passes the Senate.
Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman said, "Bottom line: these are people who are prepared to put their lives on line to defend our security and our values."
The House voted to repeal the 17-year-old "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "Allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do."
But is it premature? Those who voted "no" say wait until the military's report on how to implement the change comes out later this year.
Virginia Senator Jim Webb said, "It's quite frankly a little disrespectful to the people that are serving to move before the survey came in."
Arizona Senator John McCain said, "We need to thoroughly review effectiveness on men and women in military."
More than 13-thousand gays have been discharged, including critical personnel like engineers and translators.
Pennsylvania Representative Patrick Murphy said, "It's wrong, and it wastes over one-point-three billion dollars of American taxpayer money."
It's a touchy subject during a critical election year.
Washington Examiner Political Editor Chris Stirewalt said, "For people who are from socially conservative districts, there's a lot of anxiety about how it's done."
As written, the change wouldn't kick in until the military's report comes out in December.