It's a Christmas miracle! Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats actually did something!
The bill still needs to be signed by the President, after which there will be a (likely lengthy) process of the administration's military leadership "certifying" that servicepeople will not be unduly effected by it (read: if you're in the army/navy/etc you'll be taking a tedious "sensitivity training" course and checking off some paperwork sometime next year) and after THAT 60 day waiting period - but eventually it will be, for the first time in American history, possible for gay and lesbian citizens to serve openly in the armed forces...
...you know, like they do almost everywhere ELSE in the civilized world. Hey, America? Remember when we used to do this stuff early!?
Three things stick out about this to me:
1. John McCain, you're cool-points are hereby taken away. You don't get the be the one decent Republican anymore.
2. Joe Lieberman... it seriously kills me to have to say this, given how long I've had to count you as very close to a literal enemy... but you did good here. You may take a small portion of the cool-points formerly belonging to your friend Senator McCain - subject to immediate revocation the second you open your mouth about video games again, of course.
3. It looks like maybe Scott Brown isn't going to run for president in 2012, after all. Brown is the Republican senator from Massachusetts who made big news by sweeping into Ted Kennedy's former seat. He did so partly by feigning in the direction of the make-believe "libertarians" in the Tea Party, then promptly having absolutely nothing to do with them the minute he won. It's been widely assumed he's planning a presidential run in the future, and that he may opt to do it sooner than later if Victoria Kennedy (Ted's widow) challenges him for the seat next election.
What's significant about that is that any smart political operator (and Brown, an ambitious guy, has plenty of those working for him) knows that A.) any gay-rights victory is going to fuel MASSIVE outrage in the Republicans' religious-nutcase base and B.) any Republican candidate who wants to make it out of the primaries needs said religious-nutcases to like him. So either Brown (who's made no secret of his social-liberalism) is hopelessly optimistic about the likely relative-intelligence of voters two years from now OR he's gonna bide his time and let his good buddy Mitt Romney be the "RINO" that Palin and Huckabee team up to curb-stomp in the 2012 primary, thus ensuring a teabagger-approved candidate and a 2nd term for Obama.