US President Barack Obama has outlined achievements by his administration in efforts to give homosexual people more rights.
Mr Obama, who has been criticised for the lack of action on such issues as gay marriage and the right to serve in the military, told gay supporters on Sunday morning he would fight for their causes and renewed a pledge to end restrictions on their service in the US military.
At the end of his speech, the president received a standing ovation from participants in a benefit held by the Human Rights Campaign, a gay advocacy group.
Referring to the policy prohibiting openly gay people from serving in the US military,Mr Obama said he would end the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
The US president has repeatedly pledged to tackle issues important to the gay community and has said he will repeal the so-called “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that allows gays to serve in the army as long as they do not mention their sexual orientation.
He has often faced criticism from gay advocates over what many in the gay community have felt is a lack of action on his promises for civil rights.
Mr Obama has also long promised to repeal the Defence of Marriage Act, which determines how gay partnerships are recognised by government and benefits for gay couples.
At the dinner, he acknowledged that there would need to be more work done on the issues, blaming the push to overhaul healthcare and the economic crisis dominate for taking up his time.
The president, who needs to shore up his support among gays and lesbians who backed him strongly during last year’s presidential campaign, promised his unwavering support for broadening rights.
he said he would extend some benefits to partners of gay federal employees and would sign a bill to broaden the definition of hate crimes to include attacks on people because of their sexual orientation.
The House of Representatives passed the bill last week and the Senate is expected to act soon.