In the end, eight Republican senators cast their votes to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. armed forces, repealing the 17-year-old "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
But Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) did not join them and used his time on the Senate floor Saturday to stand athwart history yelling stop.
"Today is a very sad day," McCain announced, detailing his continuing opposition to allowing gay and lesbian soldiers to be open about their sexuality.
"There will be high-fives over all the liberal bastions of America," he predicted, from "the elite schools that bar military recruiters from campus" to "the salons of Georgetown" and the "talk shows" where people -- "most of whom have never have served in the military" -- will crow over the law's repeal.
Allowing gays to serve openly in the Marines would prove a potentially deadly distraction McCain said, quoting from a Marine Corps Commandant warning, "and I don't want to permit that opportunity to happen."
Eight Republican Senators voted in favor of repeal of DADT: Scott Brown (Mass.); Richard Burr (NC); Susan Collins (of Maine, and a co-sponsor of the repeal effort); John Ensign (Nevada); Mark Kirk (Illinois); Lisa Murkowski (Alaska); Olympia Snowe (Maine) and George Voinovich of Ohio.