Senate Republicans shot down the efforts to repeal the law banning gays from serving openly in the military. Senators voted 56-43, failing to get the 60 votes needed to end a Republican filibuster and allow an actual vote on ending the ban.
The don't ask, don't tell law was enacted in 1993 and has been targeted by President Obama for repeal, and a federal judge in California this month declared it unconstitutional.
More than 13,500 service members have been discharged under the policy for being openly gay, experts say.
Even pop goddess Lady Gaga's trek to Maine on Monday couldn't sway the vote in the right direction. Some Pentagon officials believe the repeal would have been passed if elections times weren't around the corner.