US President Donald Trump and his vice-president Mike Pence will travel to Israel next week to discuss the marriage bill before the United Nations General Assembly, a senior administration official said on Friday.
The trip to the Jewish state, the first of Trump’s presidency, is the first to address the controversial issue of gay marriage, a measure that has become a hot button issue in American politics after Trump announced his candidacy for the White House in 2015.
Trump has proposed allowing all US states to allow same-sex couples to wed, which would pave the way for the United States to become the first in the world to allow gay marriage.
The issue of same-gender marriage has been a contentious issue for decades.
It has been legal in 16 states and Washington, D.C., since 2007, with Hawaii and Pennsylvania among the most recent to permit same- gender marriages.
Opponents say the legislation will undermine religious freedom and lead to discrimination.
A White House official said the two would discuss the issue and “take a number of steps to help the country address this vital issue”.
“There is a lot of work to be done, and we will continue to do so as we work to ensure that the protections for all Americans are protected,” the official said.
In addition to the meeting with the Israeli government, the president is expected to speak with leaders of the Islamic world, including Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, who has led the war against Islamic State, and the leaders of Muslim-majority countries, including Egypt and Turkey, on Monday.