President Barack Obama has voiced his support for marriage equality in Hawaii, after the state recently approved legislation at senate stage aiming to repeal a ban on same-sex marriage, moving it to the Hawaii House stage for voting.

The bill was taken to the Hawaii House on Thursday and Friday, where more than 5,000 members of the public signed up to speak before two committees.

Now President Barack Obama, who was recently named “hero of Russia’s gay rights movement” by The Moscow Times, has shown his support for the Marriage Equality Act, calling it a matter of “dignity and respect.”

A White House spokesperson said: “While the president does not weigh in on every measure being considered by state legislatures, he believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect.

“His personal view is that it’s wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships, and want to marry, from doing so.”

Last month, the Governor of the US state of Hawaii called for this special legislative session to move forward the bill.

Governor Neil Abercrombie released a draft for the bill in August. If Hawaii legalises same-sex marriage, it would become the 15th US state to do so.

In September, President Obama met with nine LGBT activists during his trip to St Petersburg for the G20 summit. He was so “energised intellectually and inspired” by their talks, the meeting lasted twice as long as expected.