In an historic move, the House of Representatives voted Thursday to repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
Representatives voted to lift the 1993 law, which banned gays from serving in the military if they openly acknowledge their sexual orientation.
Earlier in the day, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted 16-12 to repeal the law.
House Republicans voted overwhelmingly against lifting the ban, saying that Congress should wait until the Pentagon completes a review of the impact of a repeal on military life and readiness.
The bill faces an even tougher battle in the U.S. Senate, which hopes to take it up for debate this summer.
One key lawmaker said it will be hard for legislators to vote it down, since the bill includes money for security projects in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as pay raises for military personnel.