The U.S. Senate has voted in favor of moving ahead with repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the ban on gay troops serving in the military.

After passage of the DREAM Act failed, senators voted in favor of ending debate on a standalone version of the bill. The final 63 to 33 tally included more Republicans than previously expected.

“Today is a very sad day,” Arizona Senator John McCain said before senators voted.

“It's time to right a wrong and put the military in line with the best of American values,” Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman said on the floor.

Lieberman, along with Senators Mark Udall of Colorado, Susan Collins of Maine and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, sponsored the standalone version of the bill after Senate Republicans, led by McCain, twice blocked passage of a defense bill that included language to repeal the law.

The Pentagon's top military leaders and President Obama have backed repeal of the law that has ended the military careers of over 13,000 service members.