A Hollywood actress has said she is backing the Democratic nominee for President of the United States after she heard him talk about equality for gay and lesbian people.

In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Drew Barrymore said that Barack Obama’s “sensitivity” on the issue had won her over.

“When I heard him speak about a gay person never having to sit outside the hospital room with their loved one sick inside, I burst into tears because so many people I care about are homosexual and it was profound to have someone be sensitive to that,” she said.

“That’s the kind of world I want to live in, where we’re not holding our own principles in judgement above someone or against someone.”

While supportive of most gay rights, Senator Obama does not support gay marriage.

“I support the notion that all people — gay or straight — deserve the same rights and responsibilities to assist their loved ones in times of emergency, deserve equal health insurance and other employment benefits currently extended to heterosexual married couples, and deserve the same property rights as anyone else,” he wrote in a response to questions put to him by the gay press.

“If elected, I would call on Congress to enact legislation that would repeal DOMA and ensure that the over 1,100 federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally recognised unions.”

The Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) bars the federal government from recognising same-sex marriages.

The Republican nominee for President, Senator John McCain, opposes gay adoption and has said of marriage:

“Union – a union between a man and a woman, between one man and one woman. That’s my definition of marriage.”

He does not back a constitutional amendment on the matter.

However, during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in May he told the host, who was about to marry her girlfriend Portia De Rossi:

“I think that people should be able to enter into legal arrangements.

“I think that is something we should encourage, particularly in the case of insurance and other areas, decisions that have to be made.

“I just believe in the unique status between man and woman, and I know that we have a respectful disagreement on that issue.”

Americans will elected the next President of the United States on November 4th.