Eight GOP senators on Saturday crossed the aisle to vote with all but one Democrat to repeal “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the 1993 law that bans gay and bisexual troops from serving openly.

The final 65 to 31 tally included surprise votes in favor of repealing the law from Republicans Mark Kirk of Illinois and George Voinovich of Ohio.

Kirk, who is serving the remaining weeks of President Barack Obama's unexpired term, voted against repeal earlier this year as a member of the House. But in a statement released earlier in the month, the freshman senator said he was undecided and would study the Pentagon's report on repeal. That report endorsed repeal of the policy that has ended the military careers of over 13,000 service members.

Voinovich had voted against repeal twice before.

Also voting in favor of repeal were Maine Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, John Ensign of Nevada, Richard Burr of North Carolina and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Burr and Ensign did not vote in favor of breaking the GOP filibuster, but signed on for the final vote.

Snowe's announcement that she supported repeal drew criticism from the socially conservative group Family Research Council (FRC), which called her a “turncoat.”

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat, decided to skip the vote for a family holiday gathering. Manchin said in a statement that he does not support repeal of the law at this time.

Manchin said that he'd “spoken with many passionate West Virginians who hold different views on this policy.”

“As such, while I believe the DADT policy will be repealed, and probably should be repealed in the near future, I cannot support a repeal of the policy at this time.”

Previously, the 63-year-old newly-minted senator had said he objected to repeal because he worried about how it would affect military chaplains.

President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law next week. However, repeal will not happen until the president and the Pentagon certify that the military is prepared to lift the ban.