"Were the President still in the Illinois State Legislature, he would support this measure that would treat all Illinois couples equally," White House spokesman Shin Inouye told the newspaper on Saturday.

Obama has earned praise from gay-rights advocates for repealing “Don’t ask, don’t tell” and for endorsing same-sex marriage. The president announced last year that he personally supported gay marriage, making him the first sitting president to do so publicly.

Gay-rights advocates plan to push the president to go big on their agenda in his second term.

Buoyed by the approval of same-sex marriage in several states on Election Day, lobbyists for gay-rights groups plan to prod the president to sign an executive order that would ban discrimination by federal contractors against gay and transgendered people.