Republican US House Speaker John Boehner has said his party should support gay Republican congressional candidates.

Mr Boehner made the remarks to Politico, when asked to comment on claims that Virginia Representative Randy Forbes had urged colleagues not to support gay congressional candidates with funding.

When asked if he thinks his party should support gay candidates, Mr Boehner simply said: “I do.”

At present, Republicans in the House of Representatives have two gay candidates for 2014.

Richard Tisei will be running again in north-eastern Massachusetts after losing out to Democratic Representative John Tierney in 2012 while Carl DeMaio, a former city councilman will be representing San Diago in the forthcoming elections.

Mr Boehner has so far rejected allowing the House of Representatives to debate and vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) – even though it has been approved in the US Senate.

In November, President Barack Obama called on Congress to pass the legislation. He said: “This bill has strong bipartisan support and the support of a vast majority of Americans. It ought to be the law of the land”.

ENDA would make it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It is already illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, nationality, religion, age or disability.

In March, Mr Boehner said that he “can’t imagine” ever supporting equal marriage.