“The president does believe that Gov. Brewer did the right thing by vetoing this bill,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters.
“The president believes that all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, should be treated fairly and equally, with dignity and respect,” he added. “And it was gratifying to see Americans from all walks of life, including business leaders, faith leaders, regardless of party, speak out against this measure.”
Carney called Brewer’s veto “further evidence that the American people fundamentally believe in equality.”
“It's time to get on the right side of history,” he continued.
Supporters of the measure said that it would protect religious freedom, but the bill faced a wave of opposition.
Both of Arizona's GOP senators urged Brewer to reject the bill and a number of major businesses highlighted their opposition, including Delta Air Lines and Major League Baseball.
Reports also suggested the National Football League would weigh moving the next Super Bowl from the state if the bill was signed.
Brewer vetoed the bill on Thursday, saying it could “divide Arizona in ways we cannot even imagine and no one would ever want.”
"Religious liberty is a core American and Arizona value. So is non-discrimination,” she said.
President Obama has been a staunch supporter of gay rights in office, becoming the first sitting president to endorse same-sex marriage.
But Gay rights groups have pressed him to do more, including signing an executive order to ban workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians.
The White House, though, has said lawmakers should act to pass legislation protecting workers.
“We of course hope very much that further action will be taken in Congress on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act,” said Carney on Friday.
He said a legislative approach would be “far more comprehensive in its effect.”