President Barack Obama has said in a statement through a spokesman that he is opposed to “efforts to deny rights” to gay and lesbian couples.

Gay weekly the Washington Blade last week asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney whether Obama is opposed to a Republican attempt to repeal New Hampshire's 2-year-old gay marriage law.

Carney said he had not spoken to the president on the issue.

While a response from White House spokesman Shin Inouye doesn't specifically mention New Hampshire's upcoming debate, it does reiterate the president's support for gay couples.

“While the president does not weigh in on every single action taken by legislative bodies in our country, the record is clear that the president has long opposed divisive and discriminatory efforts to deny rights and benefits to same-sex couples. The president believes strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away,” said Inouye.

Republican lawmakers have said they will consider state Rep. David Bates' bill that would make New Hampshire the first state to legislatively overturn a gay marriage law soon after the January 10 presidential primary.

Bates' bill would replace the law with civil unions for any unmarried adults, including relatives, and would allow anyone to refuse to recognize such unions.

Approximately 2,000 gay and lesbian couples have married since the law took effect.