Washington - The White House on Tuesday put its weight behind efforts to enshrine rights for gay Americans in federal law, stoking an election-year battle with conservatives.
After a landmark legal victory on gay marriage, the White House said it would like to see legislation that provides comprehensive protection against discrimination.
The measures would amend the half-century-old Civil Rights Act to tackle discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.
"This is something the administration has been reviewing for several weeks now," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.
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"Upon that review, it is now clear that the administration strongly supports the Equality Act. That bill is historic legislation that would advance the cause of equality for millions of Americans," he said.
The proposals are extremely unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled Congress, but will provide ample fundraising and campaign opportunities for both parties.
Earlier on Tuesday Obama became the first US president to be photographed for an LGBT publication, appearing on the cover of OUT100, beneath the headline "Our President" and "Ally. Hero. Icon."