Updated 7:12 p.m.
The clock has almost run out on House Democrats' time in power in Washington, and in the waning days of the 111th Congress their Senate colleagues rushed to take advantage of the lame duck House majority to make good on a major legislative promise -- while also failing Saturday to make headway on another.
The military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy will end, as Senate Democrats won over a handful of their Republican colleagues to support a repeal Saturday morning, first breaking a filibuster with 63 votes and then sending a bill to President Obama's desk with 65 "yes" votes Saturday afternoon.
Obama will sign the repeal into law this coming week, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.
The conclusion of the long drama over DADT comes after two years of sometimes-rocky relations between gay-rights activists dissatisfied over the administration's failure to move faster on DADT and marriage rights.
Obama came into office promising a White House friendly to gay rights, but activists were frustrated that the new president did not move swiftly to repeal policies instituted under the last Democratic president, Bill Clinton.
Obama has at times been difficult to interpret, from a gay-rights perspective, dating back to his campaign, when he said repeatedly that he defines marriage as something that happens, exclusively, "between a man and a woman." His Justice Department has defended the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which Clinton signed in 1996.