President Barack Obama on Tuesday backed adoption by gay men and lesbians in a proclamation declaring November National Adoption Month.

“As a Nation, one of our highest responsibilities is to ensure the health and well-being of our children. With generous hearts and open minds, we strive to make sure all children grow up knowing they have a family that shares with them the warmth, security, and unconditional love that will help them succeed. And yet, more than 100,000 children in America await this most basic support, and still more children abroad live without families. During National Adoption Month, we celebrate the acts of compassion and love that unite children with adoptive families, and we rededicate ourselves to the essential task of providing all children with the comfort and safety of a permanent home.”

“With so many children waiting for loving homes, it is important to ensure that all qualified caregivers are given the opportunity to serve as adoptive parents, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or marital status,” the president wrote.

Last week, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced she would introduce a bill to bar discrimination against gay couples who want to adopt.