President Barack Obama has applauded his birthplace Hawaii for becoming the 15th US state to legalise same-sex marriage, saying “I have always been proud to have been born in Hawaii, and today’s vote makes me even prouder.”

The President issued his statement immediately after the state Senate gave its final approval to the bill on Tuesday.

He said: “With today’s vote, Hawaii joins a growing number of states that recognise that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters should be treated fairly and equally under the law.

“Whenever freedom and equality are affirmed, our country becomes stronger. By giving loving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry if they choose, Hawaii exemplifies the values we hold dear as a nation.”

Obama added that he has “always been proud to have been born in Hawaii, and today’s vote makes me even prouder.”

The measured cleared the state’s senate 19 votes to 4. One Republican senator and three Democrats voted against equality.

The state’s Governor, Neil Abercrombie has said that he will swiftly sign the bill into law, making Hawaii the 15th US state to make marriage between gay and lesbian couples legal, assuming that he approves the bill before the governor of Illinois.

After the House of Representatives voted for same-sex marriage, Mr Abercrombie said: “I commend the House of Representatives for taking this historic vote to move justice and equality forward.

“I look forward to a successful conclusion to this major step in affirming everyone’s civil rights.”

Earlier this month, 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.”