Word that the world's top military power will allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military is bringing strong and swift reaction across the country.
Supporters say the Senate vote repealing the 17-year-old policy known as "don't ask, don't tell" signals a historic civil rights milestone.
Detractors insist it could weaken the armed forces.
In New York City's Times Square, 28-year-old public health researcher Cassandra Melnikow (MEHL'-nih-koh) is praising the repeal and says, "It's about time."
But Kris Mineau (MEE'-noh) of the conservative Massachusetts Family Institute says Congress is "gambling with our national security over political correctness."
The measure now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.