WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Senate cleared the way for gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military by a margin of 65-31.
Now Florida politicians are reacting.
"I Think I made myself pretty clear on that, because the mission of the U.S. military is not to accommodate behaviors, but the individuals up the obviously see it a different way," said Congressman elect Allen West.
West was in town Saturday, joining Marines in their mission to collect Toys for Tots.
He took time to weigh in on the controversial decision.
"They want to appease special interest advocacy groups, but sooner or later you guys will be coming back to me and I won't tell you that I told you so," said West.
The decision does not take effect immediately, the Senate vote and the President's signature will end the 17 year-old law known as "Don't ask don't tell," but the pentagon could take a year to carry out changes.
"We don't care who you love, as long as you love your country," said Senator Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader.
Since 1993, more than 13,500 service men and women have been dismissed under the law.
Lawmakers who voted 'no' this time around, fear those changes will hurt front-line troops.
"They have a different view. They have a view that this is about effectiveness on the battlefield in a time of war, not civil rights," said Senator Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina.
But that is exactly what supporters say this vote represents.
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell is the only law left in America that mandates someone be fired simply because of who they are," said Former Major Mike Almy, Kicked out of Air Force.
President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law sometime next week.
©2007 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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