Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan on Friday said that gay rights are a priority for President Barack Obama.

Donovan made his remarks during the White House LGBT Conference on Housing and Homelessness, which took place at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.

“President Obama views the fight for LGBT equality not as an issue, but as a priority,” Donovan told attendees.

Examples of this, Donovan said, can be found in the president's support for repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” a record number of openly gay administration appointments, passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and a memorandum signed by the president allowing hospital patients to designate visitors regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Donovan also announced that a new anti-discrimination rule had gone into effect.

The rule, which bars owners and operators of HUD-funded or -financed housing from inquiring about an applicant's sexual orientation or gender identity, was first announced in January.

“Just over a month ago, I was proud to stand before the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's Creating Change conference to announce a new Equal Access to Housing Rule that says clearly and unequivocally that LGBT individuals and couples have the right to live where they choose.”

“And today, I'm just as proud to tell all of you that the rule is now final – and officially went into effect this week,” he added. “This is an idea whose time has come.”