With a number of issues on the president's plate, including health care and climate change legislation, he has been reluctant to wade into the LBGT agenda:
"Do not doubt the direction we are headed and the destination we will reach," he said. "We have made progress and we will make more."
The president told the group's membership he also would work toward recognizing same-sex marriages and expanding protections against workplace discrimination against gays.
He garnered his most rousing applause when referencing the recent move by the House to widen hate crimes protections so they cover violence based on sexual orientation. He has pledged to sign the more expansive hate crimes initiative into law.