The repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell moved forward moments ago in the U.S. Senate. Repeal is now one vote away:
Fifty-seven members of the Senate Democratic caucus and six Republicans -- Sens. Scott Brown (Mass.), Susan Collins (Maine), Mark Kirk (Ill.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Olympia Snowe (Maine) and George Voinovich (Ohio) voted yes. Four senators did not vote.
With the filibuster broken, the final vote's expected tomorrow. UPDATE: Roll Call expects a final vote around 3 p.m. Eastern today.
If it passes, and with 63 votes for cloture it should, President Obama could sign it into law next week. After that, Defense Secretary Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Mullen have to tell Congress in writing that they're ready to make the change -- based on the Pentagon's study and on new policies being in place. And then -- then -- 60 more days go by while Congress holds hearings and reviews those policies. It's seems endless, but it's not. After 17 years, the end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell is very, very much within sight.