Image: Lady Gaga in Maine
Pat Wellenbach  /  AP file
Recording artist Lady Gaga speaks at a rally in support of repealing the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gay service members, in Portland, Maine, on Sept. 20.
msnbc.com news services
updated 12/18/2010 9:57:29 PM ET 2010-12-19T02:57:29

Pop star Lady Gaga wasn't in the Senate chamber Saturday, but she was among the celebrities virtually taking part in the historic vote to repeal the 17-year policy known as "don't ask, don't tell."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Saturday sent Lady Gaga a message on Twitter: #DADT on it's way to becoming history. Later he tweeted: @ladygagaWe did it! #DADTis a thing of the past.

After the Senate voted 65-31 to give final congressional approval to end the ban on openly gay troops, Lady Gaga tweeted: Can't hold back the tears+pride. We did it!i Our voice was heard + today the Senate REPEALED DADT. A triumph for equality after 17 YEARS.

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The Grammy Award-winning singer inserted herself into the debate in September when she addressed 2000 people in a Deering Oaks Park, Maine, rally where she stood alongside Air Force, Army and Marine veterans who were discharged because of the policy.

At that time she urged a new policy targeting straight soldiers uncomfortable with gays and called it "'If you don't like it, go home!"

MTV also reported that Gaga had brought to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards openly gay service members who had been discharged or left the military due to the policy. She also made viral videos.

Reid and Lady Gaga first exchanged tweets in September when the singer tweeted that gay rights supporters should contact him, and he responded on Twitter that a vote was coming up the next week.

Among other celebrity tweeters Saturday:

Ellen DeGeneres, openly gay talk show host, tweeted, "Thank you Senators for pushing us one step closer towards full equality.”

Kelly Osbourne, reality TV star, posted, “Today is an amazing day I could not have woken up to better news. The senate repealed #DADT this is a huge step towards equality for all.”

Neil Patrick Harris, who stars in "How I Met Your Mother" and recently started managing parenting duties with partner David Burtka, tweeted, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell REPEALED! So proud of Congress for making the right decision. Now all soldiers can serve with integrity. A great day."

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Audra McDonald of ABC's "Private Practice" tweeted hours after Senate passage, "Couldn't tweet my joy cuz kid was playing her piano recital but now I can...(Sing along) DING DONG DADT IS DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who plays a gay family member in ABC's "Modern Family": "Stepping closer to Equality! Good Job America!!!! Don't Ask Don't Tell closer to being on the 'Remember-how-crazy-it-was-when...' list!"

Boris Kodjoe, costar of  NBC's "Undercovers" tweeted, "About time! The repeal of #DADT is finally official. Live and let live. Auf geht's!" Well done!," after first retweeting President Barack Obama's tweet: "By ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," no longer will patriotic Americans be asked to live a lie in order to serve."

Comedian Sandra Bernhard tweeted, "we did it! go tell it on the mountain, your gay and strong and loyal and sexy and can kick anybodies ass you want, goodbye dadt!"

Singer Katy Perry retweeted and added to singer Pink's tweet: "SUPPORTING ALL OUR TROOPS! RT @Pink: Congrats 2 US!!! REPEAL of DADT & 17 years of allowing Human Rights Violations. There's hope after all!"

Actor-director Danny DeVito, on FX cable's "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," sent a congratulatory tweet: "@BarackObama way to go Obama & everyone who worked for Repeal of DADT."

© 2013 msnbc.com

Video: Landmark vote overturns ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

  1. Closed captioning of: Landmark vote overturns ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

    >>> on capitol hill today appears to signal a new era in gay rights in this country while abolishing long-held military tradition and policy. the senate late today voted to repeal the don't ask, don't tell policy against gays serving openly in the military. meaning for the first time, gays would be able to acknowledge their orientation without fear of being kicked out of the service. the bill now goes to the desk of president obama , who earlier today expressed his eagerness to fulfill a campaign pledge to overturn the 17-year-old ban. we have correspondents covering the vote and reaction and we start on capitol hill with kelly o'donnell. kelly ?

    >> reporter: good evening, lester. this repeal was presumed dead so many times, even last week it seemed undoable. but today, everything changed. there was drama, surprise, and a sense of history on all sides. a day of change that began with deep convictions.

    >> if you care about national security , if you care about our military readiness, then you will repeal this corrosive policy.

    >> does anybody look at those graves and say move this one, because we just found out that soldier died in battle was gay.

    >> reporter: and strong feelings among republicans.

    >> the army, the air force , particularly the marine corps have cautioned us not to do this now this way.

    >> reporter: john mccain led opposition to ending the ban, saying that it would be a dangerous distraction during two wars.

    >> and there will be high fives all over the liberal bastions of america. we'll see the talk shows tomorrow, bunch of people talking about how great it is. most of them never have served in the military.

    >> reporter: the 17-year-old policy known as don't ask don't tell forbids gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. about 14,000 men and women have been expelled.

    >> no one should be turned away because of who they are.

    >> reporter: with momentum to change the law, fueled by public opinion and support from top military brass, the political will shifted after many past failed votes, today, one final shot.

    >> the yeas are 65. the nays, 31.

    >> reporter: for supporters, relief, victory and a surprise. eight republicans, more than expected, joined democrats to end don't ask, don't tell. main republican susan collins led the fight for repeal and won more gop support.

    >> 17 years ago, it was a democratic president who signed into law don't ask, don't tell. so i think our society is changing.

    >> reporter: a thrilled senator joe lieberman called it the best day in his senate career.

    >> we're still able to come together in a bipartisan way to right a wrong and do something that's in the best interests of our country.

    >> reporter: there is still one more step that could take several months for this to really be done. this law today says that the president, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs must certify that the military has taken all the steps internally to be ready to implement this change. lester?

    >> kelly o'donnell, thanks. tonight, defense

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